We all hear about the distractions of cell phones, but the distraction of another passenger can be just as dangerous. Think about it: a new driver that needs to concentrate on the task of driving, and their friend(s) next to them yelling the words to the latest Katy Perry tune or demanding you take a selfie for Snapchat. Can you say DISTRACTION? We knew you could.
- Remember your Graduated Driver Licensing Laws. No passengers means no passengers. Try explaining a ticket in your first week of driving!
- Siblings and other family members are a distraction, too. If you’re worried about driving them around, talk to your parents as a family to make sure everyone understands how to act in the car.
- Parents, get some tips here to help your teen be a safer driver> http://www.t-driver.com/resources/parents-of-teens/
When you are with a teen driver, and really anytime you are a passenger, remember these tips:
- Pay closer attention when there are other people in the car. More passengers means more distractions. Lower your voices, keep the music at a reasonable level and help the driver see what’s going on.
- Stay awake on long journeys and at night. This will help the driver also stay awake and pay attention to the road.
- Hang up the phone. Your conversation can be distracting to the driver and cause them to zone out.
- Buckle up! If there are other passengers, make sure they buckle up too.
- If you know your friend has had even one drink, offer to drive, take their keys or call a parent. And, whatever you do, don’t get into a vehicle with a driver who has been drinking or taking drugs.
Being a good friend and passenger is not about having fun and keeping the party going, it’s about being an active passenger and helping the driver watch and listen. Look at the job of gaining driving experience as a team effort!