Under Washington’s Intermediate Licensing Statute new drivers are not supposed to have other teens in the car. One of the big reasons is that teens tend to distract other teens. Not only has this been recognized by the legislature, it has also been documented in studies regarding teen accidents.
The issue takes on additional significance when a teen is distracted, causes an accident and doesn’t have adequate insurance to pay for the other person’s damages. Should the passengers in the car who caused the distraction also be liable for the injured person’s damages? Under the law in Washington, the answer appears to be “yes”.
It’s interesting to note that drinking and driving has been largely eliminated in the teen population. Apparently MADD and DARE have been effective. Now additional attention needs to be turned to teens distracting other teen drivers.