Teenagers lack experience in driving, so it’s understandable that certain activities will pose a greater distraction for them than for adults: for example, conversations with passengers. Parents throughout Louisville should know that the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has studied the effect of peer passengers on teenagers’ driving. It turns out that having just one friend in the car can increase a teen’s crash risk by 44%.

Safety experts recommend that teens go without young passengers for at least six months after becoming licensed. If parents can make them do this for the first year, that would be ideal.

But parents should know that “no young passengers” means no younger siblings either. While some states allow younger siblings to ride with newly licensed teen drivers, the practice is not safe because siblings, more so than friends, know what buttons to push to make teens laugh or get angry. This obviously will not make for safe, attentive driving.

Car crashes affect both passengers and drivers, so parents should be wary if their teens want to ride with a peer. They should ask if that friend has been licensed for long, if the two will be traveling far, where they are going and whether they will be driving at night. After that, parents can give their final approval or disapproval.

Parents can only do so much, though. Drivers, whatever their age, are responsible for the safety of other road users. If they fail in this responsibility, then victims may pursue a personal injury claim against the negligent driver. They might want to have an attorney’s assistance throughout the process.