Accidents Caused by Distracting Passengers

IF YOU WERE IN AN ACCIDENT DUE TO A DISTRACTING PASSENGER, CALL A ZINDA LAW GROUP PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY TODAY at (800) 863-5312

Driving while distracted is consistently one of the more common causes of car accidents. Distracted driving includes operating a vehicle while texting, eating, or even talking to other passengers. In some cases, passengers may become rambunctious and take part in dangerous activities, such as grabbing and messing with the steering wheel. In these instances, the passenger may be held responsible for any resulting accident. Driving with passengers is especially risky for teenage drivers.

If you or your loved one were in a motor vehicle accident that involved distracting passengers, contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Zinda Law Group attorneys have the knowledge and ability necessary to investigate your case, determine who is at fault, and fight on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve. Call (800) 863-5312 to speak with a Zinda Law Group car accident attorney today for your free consultation.

can a passenger be liable for a motor vehicle accident?

If you were in an accident due to a distracting passenger, that passenger may, in fact, be liable for any resulting accident. Any action taken by a passenger that directly contributes to a motor vehicle accident may be considered negligence. For example, if a passenger places his or her hands over the eyes of the driver, the passenger may then be held accountable for any injuries and property damage that occur due to those negligent actions.

Distracted driving accidents are extremely dangerous and may lead to catastrophic injury, substantial property damage, or even death. At Zinda Law Group, we may be able to help investigate your accident, determine who is at fault, and negotiate on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve if you were injured due to a motor vehicle accident caused by passengers who distracted the driver.

teen-related car accidents

Car accidents involving teenage drivers are not uncommon. As a matter of fact, accidents due to distracting passengers is particularly prevalent among teen drivers. Because it is not possible for parents or guardians to drive with their teenagers all of the time, providing the teen drivers with information regarding risk factors and safety tips may help reduce car accidents and save lives.

Statistics and Key Findings

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) has reported that in 2018, almost 2,500 teens were killed in a motor vehicle accident. Further, approximately 285,000 teenagers were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes. The CDC has also found that motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States.  

One important risk factor for teenagers is driving with young passengers. The presence of teenage passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has put forth a study on the effects of teenage driving when there is at least one passenger involved. Overall, the study found that carrying young passengers is a significant risk factor for teen drivers. The study has also found that, when compared to driving with no passengers, a 16- or 17-year-old driver’s risk of death per mile driven:

  • Increases 44% when carrying one passenger younger than 21 years old
  • Doubles when carrying two passengers younger than 21 years old
  • Quadruples when carrying three or more passengers younger than 21
  • Decreases approximately 62% when a passenger 35 years or older is in the vehicle

The AAA study also found that nearly 40% of teenagers killed in a motor vehicle accident during the study’s period had at least one passenger younger than 21 years old in the vehicle at the time of the accident.

Risk Factors

Many factors put teenage drivers at risk for motor vehicle accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put forth detailed explanations of these factors:

  • Teenagers are more likely than older drivers to underestimate dangerous situations while behind the wheel. Teens are also more likely to make critical decision errors that may lead to serious accidents.
  • Not Using a Seat Belt. Teenagers are statistically less likely to use seat belts when compared to older drivers. For example, in 2019, it was reported that 43.1% of high school students in the United States did not always wear a seat belt when riding in a car driven by someone else.
  • Distracted Driving. Driving while distracted is extremely dangerous for any age group; however, it may be especially dangerous for young and inexperienced drivers. One survey performed in 2019 revealed that, among United States high school students, 39% of drivers texted or emailed while behind the wheel of a vehicle at least once in the 30 days before the survey took place. Distracted driving also includes driving while interacting with the other passengers.
  • It has been reported that teenagers are more likely to speed when compared to older drivers. For example, in 2018, 30% of male drivers under the age of 21 who were involved in fatal car crashes were speeding at the time of the accident.
  • Alcohol Use. Among high school students in the United States, 5.4% admitted to driving after drinking alcohol. Drinking while driving is illegal for any individual younger than 21 years of age. Despite this, 24% of drivers between the ages of 15-20 who were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2017 had been drinking.

Safety Tips for Teen Drivers

Although getting a drivers license is an exciting event for a teenager, it can also make the parents or guardians frantic—with good reason. Immaturity and lack of driving experience are two main factors associated with the high accident rates among teenagers. Fortunately, there are some steps a parent or guardian can take to help ensure the safety of their teenage driver.

Pick a Safe Car

When getting their teenager a car, parents and guardians should choose a vehicle that is easy to drive and one that may offer protection in the event of a crash. For example, parents should avoid small cars and those vehicles that may encourage speed and recklessness.

Enroll your Teen in a Safe Driving Program

Teenagers who participate in a safe driving program have a higher likelihood of understanding the responsibilities of a young driver and the consequences of failing to meet those expectations. For example, these programs may explain to teenagers the risk of having other teen passengers in the car. Further, if your teen completes the program, he or she may be eligible for an insurance discount.

Discuss the Dangers of Distracted Driving

Parents and guardians should discuss with teenage drivers the importance of not driving while distracted. Although obvious distractions may include texting or other cellphone use, teens may not know that other passengers may prove to be deadly distractions. If a teen is distracted by a passenger, he or she may lose control of the vehicle. This may lead to an accident, resulting in serious injury, or death, to the driver and/or the passengers.

Be a Good Role model

Teen drivers learn by example. It is important, therefore, for the parents and guardians of teens to be  good role models while driving. Always wear a seatbelt, don’t drink and drive, and never drive in a reckless manner.

If you have a teenage driver, you may want to discuss common risk factors and safety tips associated with young drivers. This may help your child stay safe and reduce the risk of accidents.

Further, if you are the victim of a car accident, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. Zinda Law Group car accident lawyers can help investigate your case, determine who is at fault, and may negotiate on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries and property damage.

contact one of our knowledgeable and experienced zinda law group personal injury attorneys today for your free consultation

There are many different ways in which a motor vehicle accident may occur. For example, the driver may run a red light, be texting, or may be distracted by a rowdy passenger. If you have been involved in a car accident that you believe was caused by a distracting passenger, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney right away. If a passenger was acting negligently, he or she may be held liable for the compensation owed to the victim of the wreck.

If you have been involved in an accident and are wondering: “Is there a law firm near me?” or “Is there a personal injury lawyer near me?” Contact our nationwide team today. Zinda Law Group attorneys available nationwide may be able to help investigate your unique case, determine who is at fault, and fight by your side to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries and property damage.

At Zinda Law Group, we believe that our clients should not have to worry about affording top quality legal representation on top of their hefty medical bills and property damage costs. This is why we work on a contingency fee basis. Our clients do not pay us anything unless are successful in winning their case. That is our No Win, No Fee Guarantee. Contact our personal injury firm today at (800) 863-5312 for your 100% free consultation.

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