SUNDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Teens who think of themselves as thrill-seekers and who believe their parents don't set rules are among the most likely to drive with other teens in the car, which in many states violates graduated licensing laws, a new study finds.
And a second study of teens involved in serious accidents found that for those carrying other teen passengers, distraction and risky driving behavior often played a role.
It's long been known that having teen passengers increases a teen driver's crash risk, according to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia researchers, but it hasn't been well understood how this these passengers actually increase crash risk.
"These studies help us understand the factors that may predispose teens to drive with multiple friends and how those passengers may contribute to crashes by distracting the driver and promoting risky driving behaviors, such as speeding, tailgating or weaving," study author Allison Curry, director of epidemiology at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention, said in a hospital news release.
"Knowing this, we can develop programs that work in tandem with current graduated driver licensing laws that limit the number of passengers for teens during their first year of driving," she added.
In the first study, Curry and colleagues surveyed 198 teen drivers and found that those mostly likely to transport their friends shared a number of characteristics. They considered themselves thrill-seekers, said their parents didn't set rules or monitor their whereabouts, and had a poor understanding about the overall risk of driving.
"The good news is that that these teens make up the minority," study author and behavioral researcher Jessica Mirman said in the news release. "Teens in this study generally reported strong perceptions of the risks of driving, low frequencies of driving with multiple passengers and strong beliefs that their parents moni
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