Teen Drivers With Rowdy Friends Have Higher Chance Of Accident

After all, technology is not the biggest cause of distraction while driving, it’s time to be very cautious about your rambunctious friends, especially teens. According to a new study at the University of North Carolina, loud conversations and horseplay between passengers may be the riskiest distraction for teen drivers.

52 newly licensed high school students were recruited for the test and their vehicles were mounted with video and G-force recorders; their driving activities were recorded for over 6 months. They found that drivers were less likely to use cell phones and other in-vehicle control systems when there were friends in the car with them. Certain distractions like eating, texting were not strongly related with serious incidents. However, loud conversation between the passengers multiplied the chance of having a serious incident by a factor of six, whereas horseplay increased the chance by three times.

Robert Foss, who is a senior research scientist at the UNC Highway Safety Research Center, said forty three states currently restrict newly licensed drivers from having more than one young passenger in their vehicle.