Car crashes involving teen drivers are not uncommon in Texas, and they are often the result of teens being distracted behind the wheel. It turns out, too, that having a peer ride with them can be just as distracting as any smartphone or infotainment system. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that teens raise their risk for a crash by 44% with a single teen passenger in their car.

Once teens are licensed, then, it would be best if they didn’t take on any young passengers for at least the first six months or year. Parents can discuss this with their teens and come to an agreement. They can also discuss when their teens should or should not ride with fellow peers as passengers themselves. For example, this may be fine if the driver has been licensed for several years, if the trip is short and if they won’t be traveling at night.

Teens shouldn’t take on any young passengers, and that means siblings too. Parents may be tempted to have their teens pick up their siblings from school or drop them off for their extracurricular activities, but this would be to sacrifice safety to convenience. Siblings can easily get one another excited or angry, so they usually make teens more inattentive behind the wheel than friends can.

Drivers must stay attentive at all times, or they will cause car accidents and be at fault for them. As for the victims, they can file a personal injury claim. As long as their degree of fault is less than the defendant’s, they can be eligible for compensatory damages, which may cover everything from medical expenses and lost wages to pain and suffering. Filing the claim and negotiating for a settlement are difficult on one’s own, so victims may want legal representation.