Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.

Car accidents make up the leading cause of death for older teens, and it’s long been known that when there are passengers in the car a teen driver is more likely to crash. Now two new studies explain why friends in the car make things riskier. I’m Doug Whiteman with your Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.

The studies show teens are more likely to be distracted before a crash by another teen who’s a passenger. A survey of teens who had a car accident and said they were distracted by something inside the car found 71 percent of boys and 47 percent of girls said the source of the distraction was a teen passenger.

Researchers noted that teen boys driving with passengers are more likely to drive aggressively and perform illegal driving maneuvers than boys driving alone. Teen girls rarely drove aggressively before a car accident, regardless of whether they had passengers.

Parents need to keep in mind that car insurance rates for teen drivers are already high, and one car crash can substantially raise those rates.

For more about the risks of teen drivers, visit Bankrate. com. I’m Doug Whiteman.

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