Teenagers are inexperienced drivers and can be distracted even by other people in the car, especially when those people happen to be their friends. California parents should know that teens run a 44% higher risk for a car crash when they invite just one peer to be a passenger. This is according to research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

For this reason, experts recommend that teens keep from having any young passengers for at least six months after obtaining their license. If parents can get them to do this for the first year, then all the better.

However, parents should not make an allowance for siblings. Though it can be convenient to have teens pick up and drop off their siblings in lieu of the parents, this is actually more dangerous than having a friend in the car. A younger sibling could easily get the older sibling excited or angry, which means a greater chance for inattentive driving.

Parents may want to set up restrictions when it comes to having their teens ride in a friend’s car. For example, if the friend is newly licensed and they intend to make a long trip, parents should give their disapproval. The possibility of night driving is another factor that parents may want to consider.

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