Teen drivers in California and across the U.S. are at a high risk for crashing, and that risk can go up a startling 44% when a peer is riding with them. This is according to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Parents should be aware that teen drivers are still too inexperienced to handle the distraction that comes with conversing with friends.

It’s advisable, then, that parents set up an agreement with their teens to the effect that they allow no one as a passenger until at least six months after obtaining their license. Ideally, they should do this for their first year as licensed drivers.

Parents should also limit the times when teens themselves ride with a peer. Parents should ask certain critical questions like how long the driver has been licensed, how far they are traveling, where they are traveling to and whether they will be driving at night.

Parents should not fall into the trap of thinking that their teens can drive their siblings around. Though it can no doubt be convenient, the fact is that siblings pose a greater distraction to teens than their friends do. Siblings know what buttons to push, so to speak, and can easily get one another excited or upset.

Distracted driving, as one can see, comes in all shapes. Victims of auto accidents who find out that the other driver was distracted can consider pursuing a personal injury claim, though it may be a good idea to see how their case stands up to California’s negligence laws. This is where a legal evaluation may come in handy. A lawyer may even hire third-party investigators to gather proof of the other’s negligence before proceeding to negotiations. A successful claim could cover medical expenses, lost wages and other amounts.