Have you ever been driving and heard “SLOW DOWN” or “You’re following that car too close”? It used to be that back seat drivers were thought of as an annoyance or a distraction. That may not be the case anymore. The so called “back seat driver” is now becoming a voice of reason in the car and another example of how positive peer influence works.
According to the Criminal Justice Studies positive peer influence “has a practical implication for prevention and intervention among young drivers: the significant effect found for young drivers’ perceptions of peer pressure from friends riding in the car might be taken into account.”
What exactly does that mean? Your friends listen to what you say, and are likely to follow your lead.
So why is this good for teen drivers nowadays? Because now there is someone in the passenger or back seat who can remind you that you’re being distracted from driving, and prompt you to stay focused at the task at hand.
If you’ve ever been accused of being a back seat driver, just remember that your friends listen to what you say and that it’s not a bad thing. So next time you see someone texting while driving, or changing the radio instead of paying attention to the road, remember that if you speak up, you could be saving their life in the process.
For more information on Teens in the Driver Seat and how peer influence works, check out our “Getting Started” section and for more information on starting the program at your school find your regional representative.