Although texting and mobile use has been the most popular factor for teen related accidents, a second culprit was recently identified. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), in partnership with State Farm®, released a series of studies stating some of the risk factors for teen driving, which showed that passengers are also at fault for some of these accidents.
Think about it. Have you ever been in a car where the driver can’t concentrate because the passengers are fighting or speaking too loud? Have you ever driven a car yourself and found that the people riding with you are creating a less than safe driving environment?
More on how to not distract your driver and other safety teen driving:
1) DISTRACTION– In the study, both male and female teen drivers with peer passengers were more likely to be distracted just before a crash as compared to teens who crashed while driving alone.
If you are driving with passengers in the car, make sure to focus on the road- not just on the conversation you are having with your friends. Turn down the music if it is too loud and ask your friends to help check your blindspots when switching lanes.
2) RISKY BEHAVIOR– The data also revealed that males are six times as likely to attempt an illegal maneuver with passengers in the car, compared to males driving alone.
Follow the rules of the road at all times! As the old adage goes, ‘Better safe than sorry’. Be cautious of what road signs say and adhere to the speed limit when driving.
3) ADULT SUPERVISION– In the first study, teens who described themselves as “thrill-seekers” saw their parents as being unaware to their whereabouts or on laying down any rules. Therefore, the study encourages the involvement of parents in teen driving even after the license is given.
Abide by the rules and regulations your parents or guardians set for you. They usually tend to have more driving experience than you; therefore do not turn a blind ear to their tips and driving advice. Their advice may save your life.
Avoid the most common teen driving distractions:
- Taking selfies (Sometimes with driver)
- Talking on the phone
- Searching for something online on phone while driving
- Listening to music on blast, preventing you from hearing an upcoming siren.
- Racing other cars
No text message, song, selfie, conversation or risky behavior is worth more than the life of another human being.
If your friends think it’s fun to race cars, kindly ask them to pull over and call someone to pick you up, don’t be part of the craziness, your life is at risk.
In addition to these tips, it is highly encouraged that you get your car serviced every couple of months. Check your oil, tire pressure, and fix any cracks in windows or mirrors as soon as possible. And most importantly, stay safe on the roads!