Many teenagers in Georgia anticipate the day they can slide behind the wheel, but this newfound freedom can quickly turn into a perilous situation when teenage drivers invite their peers along for the ride. While it might seem like a rite of passage, allowing teenage passengers in a novice driver’s car may have disastrous consequences.
Here are some of the reasons teenage passengers pose a threat to teen drivers.
They create peer pressure
Teenagers are susceptible to peer pressure. With friends in the car, teenage drivers may be more likely to take unnecessary risks, such as speeding or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
They serve as a distraction
Teenagers are notorious for their texting habits and obsession with smartphones. In a car full of teenagers, the temptation to engage in distracting activities like texting, taking selfies or playing music increases, resulting in dangerous distractions for the driver. Studies show that the more teenagers a teen driver has in the car, the more risks he or she faces. While crash risks double when a teen driver has one teen passenger present, they triple when a teen motorist has two or more passengers along for the ride.
They reduce visibility
An overcrowded car reduces visibility for the driver. Other teenagers can obstruct the driver’s view and make it difficult to check blind spots. This compromised visibility increases the chances of collisions, especially in complex traffic situations.
They increase noise
Teenage passengers tend to be more talkative and boisterous than adult ones. High noise levels inside the car can distract the driver and hinder his or her ability to focus on the road. This, in turn, impairs reaction time and decision-making skills, putting everyone in the vehicle at risk.
To mitigate these risks, parents of teen motorists may want to limit the number of teenage passengers their teens have in the car and set strict rules for behavior while driving.