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Press Release

For Teen Drivers, It Does Matter Who Is in the Passenger's Seat

A new study shows that young drivers are at a higher risk of being in a car accident when carrying teen passengers.
May 31, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The many efforts to curb distracted driving are aimed at cellphones, whether through educational campaigns or outright bans on the use of hand-held cellphones or text messaging while driving. However, there is another type of distraction that greatly increases the risk that teen drivers will be involved in a fatal car accident: teenage passengers.
An Increased Risk
According to the Associated Press, a study released in early May 2012 by the Automobile Association of America's (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed that teen drivers with teenage passengers are more at risk of a fatal auto accident than when they drive alone or with an adult passenger.
Using teen crash data for the years 2007 to 2010, the study found that the risk of death per mile driven increases by 44 percent when teen drivers, age 16 or 17, have one passenger under the age of 21; the risk doubles with two younger passengers and quadruples with three or more passengers, reports the AP.
According to the AAA, between 2000 and 2010, the number of fatal accidents involving teen drivers fell by half each year. However, 40 percent of teen drivers killed in these accidents had at least one passenger under the age of 21 in the car at the time of the fatal accident.
The AP reports that one of the big reasons that teen driver deaths have decreased in the past decade is the adoption of graduated licensing programs in all 50 states.
Graduated License in Georgia
The Teenage & Adult Driver Responsibility Act, or TADRA, is the graduated driver's license program that applies to young drivers between the ages of 15 and 18. TADRA puts requirements and restrictions on young drivers to ensure that they gain the experience needed to become good drivers in the safest possible environment. For instance, TADRA requires teen drivers to complete at least 40 hours of supervised driving and successfully complete an approved driver's education course. TADRA also restricts the conditions under which recently licensed young drivers can drive by prohibiting them from driving during overnight hours -- 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.
Further, TADRA restricts the number of non-family member passengers teen drivers can have at various time during the licensing process. During the first six months that teen drivers have an Intermediate License, they are not allowed to have any passengers, other than immediate family members. During the second six months, teen drivers can have one non-family member passenger under the age of 21. After one year of driving with an Intermediate driver's license, a teen driver can have up to three non-family member passengers under the age of 21 in the vehicle.
The AAA study confirms what every graduated licensing program understands: younger passengers are a potentially dangerous distraction for new teen-drivers.
Speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about receiving compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering incurred after a car accident.
Article provided by McCamy, Phillips, Tuggle & Fordham, L.L.P.
Visit us at www.mccamylaw.com
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