Passengers can be distracting to all groups of drivers because of movement, noise and general disruption in the car. However young drivers are also affected by peer pressure from their passengers. The presence of friends in their car can encourage young drivers to take more risks. The collision risk for young drivers increases with each additional passenger carried. A new driver is five times more likely to crash if they have two or more passengers in the car.
The 'sacrificial seat'
Statistically, more girls die as passengers than as drivers as they are more often travelling as the front seat passenger. When a driver loses control and is heading towards danger i.e. tree, brick wall, their natural reaction is to steer themselves away from this danger. Unfortunately, this leaves the front passenger seat to take any impact should a collision occur. For this reason this seat has acquired the name of the 'Sacrificial Seat, It is vitally important that female passengers speak up if the driver is not driving safely: they might only be speeding to try and impress.
Challenging Driver Behaviour
Often we are told that young people find it difficult to speak up if they feel uncomfortable when travelling as a passenger in a car. Learn2Live empowers passengers to speak up when travelling with a driver who is driving inappropriately.
What can you do to reduce the risk?
If you know someone who is a risk taker and/or dangerous driver the best thing to do is simply avoid travelling with them.
Plan ahead - anticipate problems. If you are going out for the night make sure that you have a plan for safe travel home. Do not leave it to chance.
Speak up - If you find yourself as a passenger in a vehicle where the driver is behaving in a dangerous manner or travelling in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable get out! Tell them to stop. You do not have to be rude – tell them you are feeling unwell or need to go to the toilet. Parents will be happier that they have the slight inconvenience of having to collect you rather than having a knock on the door from the Police to tell them that you have been involved in a serious collision.
Make a pledge - Everyone has a right to life - make a promise to yourself that you will do everything within your power to take care of yourself and your friends and family. Make a pledge to help people to change their behaviour - as a passenger challenge inppropriate driving. Find out more about making a pledge here.