Teen drivers and passengers are staying safe

April 5, 2013 12:00 AM

Much of the focus on vehicle safety is directed at car drivers - and for good reason. Yet passenger safety is just as important, and although it may not be getting the same level of attention, there have been some positive trends appearing in this area. 

According to a report released by The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm, safety practices among teen passengers are on the rise. More than half say they always use a seat belt and many others are making smarter, more informed decisions when they get in a car, as the number of people who take part in risky behaviors is declining. Teens driven by a peer who had been drinking dropped 14 percent, and teen fatalities over the course of the past six years fell by an impressive 47 percent. 

"When most people think about those affected by teen driver crashes, they think of teens behind the wheel," said Dennis Durbin, author of the report. "This report includes encouraging news about teen passengers, who are often left out of the teen driver safety picture." 

Despite these positive numbers, there are still some areas of concern. Several high profile crashes had highlighted the idea that many young people continue to put themselves in danger through poor decision making and a lack of knowledge about vehicle maintenance. Even a small uptick in their awareness levels can save lives. 

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