THE number of car passengers killed in crashes across West Yorkshire this year has risen dramatically.
Smashes countywide have claimed the lives of 42 passengers so far - far above the usual yearly average of 31.
This makes 2003 year the worst one for car passenger deaths since 1997.
More research is needed into why the death toll has risen.
But the worst time for such tragedies is between 11pm on Saturdays to 3am on Sunday mornings and the group most at risk are males aged 16-19.
Now road safety chiefs have urged passengers to take responsibility for their own safety by making sure they always wear seat-belts and encourage the person behind the wheel to drive safely.
Steve Thornton, chairman of West Yorkshire Casualty Reduction Partnership, said: "If you're carrying passengers, respect them by driving safely and keeping within the speed limits."