Study examines teen drivers distracted by other teens: What does it mean for Texas?

Getting behind the wheel and driving may be a thrilling rite of passage for teenagers, but it can be frightening for their parents.

Many parents or caregivers fret over their children’s behavior behind the wheel: Are they texting while driving or talking on a cell phone? Did they drink alcoholic beverages at a party and try to drive home? While well-known distractions like cell phones and poor decisions like drunk driving are cause for alarm, an overlooked distraction is starting to get attention: Friends riding with teenage drivers.

At The Herrera Law Firm, Inc., we have seen first-hand the devastation caused by distracted driving. Whether it’s by a young driver or an older, experienced driver, distraction can lead to serious injuries and even death. Contact a San Antonio car accident lawyer to learn about your legal rights if you were injured or a loved one was killed due to distracted driving.

Studies reveal that teenagers who are driving with another teenage passenger have twice the risk of being involved in a fatal car accident than teenagers who drive alone. When three or more peers are riding as passengers in a car operated by a teen, the risk of a fatal crash goes up by four times. Studies by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and State Farm, examined the potentially deadly mix of multiple teenagers riding in a car.

The Children’s Hospital study, which included a survey of 198 teenage drivers, found that teens mostly likely to drive with multiple passengers were “thrill-seekers.” According to the study, these youngsters did not accurately understand the inherent risks of driving, and believe their parents were not monitoring their behavior. A researcher said these teens fortunately were in the minority, according to an article in Time magazine.

The State Farm study, which included a survey of 677 teenage drivers involved in serious car accidents, compared the likelihood of driver distraction and risk-taking just before the crash when teenagers were driving with additional passengers and when they were driving solo.

One conclusion of the study is that teens may not understand how distracting their passengers can be. It’s wise for parents to discuss with their teenagers the risks of driving with their friends.

A researcher told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that among teens who said they were distracted before the car wreck, 71 percent of males and 47 percent of females said they were distracted directly by the actions of their passengers.

If you were injured or you lost a loved one in a car accident due to the negligent behavior of another individual or entity, remember to contact a personal injury lawyer in San Antonio to see how we can help. Call 1-800-455-1054 or visit

The Herrera Law Firm, Inc.

Riverview Towers
111 Soledad St., Suite 1900
San Antonio, TX 78205


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