Is It Safe? Teen Passenger Survival Tips

So you or your friend have passed the driver's road test and can drive unsupervised. Before riding with a teen driver or driving with other teens in the car, think twice.

  • Most teens killed in crashes were riding in vehicles driven by another teen.
  • Crashes involving teen drivers kill the highest number of people in all age groups.
  • Teens driving at night with passengers are 4–5 times more likely to crash than teens driving alone during the day.
  • Even having only one teen passenger in the car increases the risk of a crash, if a licensed adult driver is not present.

Teen Driver Checklist

  • Drive sober.
  • Avoid driving when tired.
  • Give driving your full attention.
  • Make sure everyone in the car is buckled up properly.
  • Drive within the speed limit and follow traffic laws.
  • Avoid night driving with other teen passengers, especially on weekends.
  • Avoid giving rides to young children and younger brothers and sisters, even on short trips.

Passenger Safety Checklist

When riding in a car, remember to buckle up and be courteous to the driver. Before accepting a ride with someone, think about the following questions:

  • Has this person had a driver's license for less than six months?
  • Has the driver ever had a traffic ticket or been in a crash?
  • Does the driver use a cell phone or play loud music when driving?
  • Does the driver speed, follow other cars too closely, or drive in other reckless ways?
  • Is the driver under the influence of alcohol or other drugs?
  • Does the driver try to impress others through their driving?
  • Does the driver and/or his/her passengers ride unbuckled?
  • Is the car full of teens

If the answer is YES to any of these questions, is it worth the risk?

Funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with a grant from the New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee

New York State Department of Health

Publication 3091
Published 06/08