Parents throughout western Pennsylvania should beware the next time their teen drives a friend around or gets in the car of a friend. Research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that teens raise their risk for a car crash by 44% with the addition of just one peer passenger.
Teens are inexperienced drivers and can be more easily distracted by conversations in the car than adults would be. Experts suggest that teens go without any young passengers for the first six months of being a licensed driver. Parents can try to extend that period to one year.
Also, parents can place restrictions on when their teens can ride with a friend. They can ask how long the friend has been a licensed driver or determine how far they will be traveling. They can take into account the effect that night driving can have on safety.
Parents should think twice about letting their teens take their younger siblings out. While this may be convenient for parents, it can be dangerous for the children. This is in spite of the fact that many states allow siblings to ride with newly licensed teens. The reality is that siblings can effortlessly rouse each other to laughter or anger, making for unsafe driving.
Drivers, regardless of their level of experience, are expected to be safe on the road. When they fail in this and cause car accidents, they may find themselves facing a personal injury claim. In most cases, though, drivers will fail with their own insurance company as Pennsylvania is a no-fault state. Still, those who think they can file a third-party insurance claim may do well to get legal advice and guidance. The lawyer may strive for a fair settlement covering monetary and non-monetary damages.