Passenger Distractions

It is a sunny morning and seems to be the perfect day. A friend calls you to ask if you want to come to the football game with him tonight. Of course you do! The drive to the game is filled with game expectations and friendly banter. Deep in conversation, neither of you notices the stop sign that is getting closer and closer in front of you. Suddenly, BOOM! The car shudders to a stop with the stop sign folded around the hood of the car. As smoke billows from the engine, both you and your friend exit the vehicle with haste. Soon, the police officer arrives and charges your friend with a Careless Driving ticket. Luckily that is the worst of this story, but not all are so fortunate.

This type of distraction actually happens many times a day and is classified as passenger distraction.

Passenger distraction is surprisingly dangerous, especially in teens. A study by AAA put it at a level only slightly less dangerous than using a hand-held phone while driving (Hamilton, 2011). Further, a vehicle with two or more peer passengers triples the chance of a fatal crash with a teen behind the wheel ("Teendriversource", 2014). Clearly this evidence illustrates the danger of passenger distraction.

While it’s impossible to avoid having passengers in a car, it’s important to keep in mind the danger of passenger distraction. Drivers should practice focusing on the road and reminding passengers to limit distractions to the driver. It’s important for both your safety and theirs that the driver’s focus remains on the road at all times.

 

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