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Should you let your teenager ride with another teenager?

Your son or daughter is growing up and wants more independence. This often means hanging out with friends, whether at someone else's house, the mall or some other venue.

Your teenager probably doesn't want you to drive him or her everywhere anymore. Everyone else either drives or rides with a friend. While you may want to give your child some independence and sympathize with not wanting you to drive him or her around to avoid embarrassment, you may want to think twice about letting your child ride with another teenager.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety's study

The AAA Foundation gathered some disturbing data during a recent study, regarding teenage drivers with only teenage passengers in their vehicles. Teenage drivers already pose a more serious risk to road safety due to their inexperience behind the wheel. Sadly, the risk increases dramatically when the teenager has all teenage passengers. In fact, the study showed that, under these circumstances, the risk of fatalities in a crash increases by 51 percent. Research revealed the following statistics regarding this scenario as well:

  • Fatality rates for bicyclists and pedestrians increased 17 percent.
  • Fatality rates for teen drivers increased 45 percent.
  • Fatality rates for passengers in other vehicles increased 56 percent.

Just to give you an idea of how alarming this really is, when a teenage driver has passengers age 35 and older, the risk of a fatal crash actually drops 8 percent. Driving the danger home even more is the fact that, in 2016, 3,200 people died in over one million crashes involving a teenage driver.

You want your teenager to enjoy this time in his or her life, but you also want to make sure that he or she has a future to enjoy as well. Parents of teen drivers could take steps to help their young drivers avoid becoming part of these statistics. Teen drivers need to spend more time behind the wheel before taking in other teens as passengers, but your teen may also need some direction when it comes to being a good passenger.

You can only do so much

Even if your teen respects the dangers involved with being in the car with a teen driver, he or she cannot control the outcome of the trip. If your teen suffers serious injuries or dies due to an accident caused by his or her friend, you do have legal options. Nothing will erase the accident or its consequences, but you may pursue compensation to help with the results of it.

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