How often have you seen teenage drivers get behind the wheel as a group of friends piles into the car? Maybe you have plenty of memories of riding around in your own teen years, with five (or more) people packed into the car because only one member of the group had a license.
It happens all the time, but studies have found that it absolutely shouldn't. The risk of a deadly accident is vastly higher.
For instance, one study compared solo teen drivers to those who had other teens as passengers in the car with them. What they found is that the rate of accidents resulting in deadly injuries jumped by a staggering 51 percent for those with passengers.
That does not just mean that the drivers themselves are 51 percent more likely to die. The rate actually extended out around the car, showing an increase in passenger deaths, pedestrian deaths, cyclist deaths and fatal injuries for people riding in other cars near that teen driver.
In short, everyone is more likely to get involved in a serious accident when teens drive with their friends. If you're anywhere near that vehicle, whether you know it or not, you are in danger.
Does that make you think twice about cycling past the high school or driving to the football field on those crisp fall nights? Going anywhere that teen drivers are common raises your risks.
If you do get seriously injured in a crash with a teen driver, or if a loved one is killed, be sure you know all about your legal rights to financial compensation.