Teens in Louisiana and across the U.S., being inexperienced drivers, can find it hard to focus on the road. Distractions come in all shapes and sizes for them, and few realize that they can even come in the form of a friend in the car. A study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows, however, that teens raise their risk for a crash by 44% when a peer is riding with them.

Parents, then, should try to limit the number of passengers their teens can have. Ideally, they should restrict their teens from having any passengers during their first year as licensed drivers. Even restricting them for the first six months has its advantages.

Not only that, but parents should also limit those times when their teens are themselves the passengers. Before making any final decisions, parents should ask their teens how long the driver has been licensed, how far they will be traveling and whether there will be any night driving.

Some parents might think it’s acceptable to have siblings ride with their teen. After all, it’s also convenient to have their teen pick up siblings from school or drop them off for extracurricular activities. The reality, though, is that siblings distract teens more than friends because the former know how to get each other excited or angry.

Distracted driving, whatever its cause, is negligent driving. Those who are injured at the hands of a distracted teen or adult may be able to file a claim against that driver’s insurance company. It may be wise for victims to see a lawyer for an evaluation of the case in light of Louisiana’s comparative negligence rule. If retained, the lawyer may assist with gathering evidence and with negotiating a fair settlement.