Saturday, April 20, 2019

Can Distractive Passengers Cause Accidents?

Can Distractive Passengers Cause Accidents?

9734370374 849dbf06db n 300x199 Can Distractive Passengers Cause Accidents?Can Distractive Passengers Cause Accidents?

There has been much talk in the news lately about new laws that went into effect around the country against texting and driving. These laws were enacted to prevent distracted driving.

A recent study released by the Department of Highway Safety states that distracted driving causes 25 percent of all accidents, and 75 percent of all accidents involving teens. However, there is more to distracted driving than just texting or using a cell phone.

In April of 2013, two 16 year old girls found themselves involved in a fatal accident on the St. Petersburg Bridge. The driver, distracted by the passenger who was getting loud on her cell phone, took her eyes of the road for “only a second” to look at what her passenger was doing.

In that “second,” the girl lost control of her car, smashed into the cement guardrail of the bridge, and the car flipped up and was teetering on the edge of the bridge. One of the girls died instantly at the scene. Sadly, this type of event is not uncommon, especially with teens. The news is filled with tragic events just like this one everyday due to the driver being distracted by a passenger in the car.

What Can Parents Do?520393337 eee4d27100 n 300x225 Can Distractive Passengers Cause Accidents?

Driving is a rite-of-passage that all teens must make. Parents must look at the seriousness of this transformation and spend sufficient time explaining to their teens the dangers of distracted driving. Parents, as a whole, will teach their teens about drinking and driving, about defensive driving, and how to change a tire.

However, they do not talk about how passengers should act in the car. They do not think about how the distractions of rambunctious teens piled in a car can affect the way their teen manages the car. This can be a fatal mistake for some individuals.

Establish House Rules

Most parents talk about distracted driving and texting or phone or radio use. They need to address what to do when their teen allows passengers in the car. Set rules that you demand to be followed, and make no exceptions. Inform your teen that all passengers must do the following:

  • Wear Seat Belts
  • Refrain From Overly Loud Speech
  • Keep Physical Movements To A Minimum

It may seem very restrictive, especially to a teens natural ability to be loud, but it is necessary to keep them safe. Parents must explain to a teen that driving sills come with experience and age, not just with a driver’s education course.

361086546 20258cd627 n 300x199 Can Distractive Passengers Cause Accidents?It takes time to become very secure with maneuvering through traffic and learning how to manage on different types of roads. Explain to them that these restrictions are meant to allow them to learn these skills, not to dampen their spirits. And once you have set down these rules, make sure to reinforce your standings.

Distracted driving is responsible for a majority of all accidents that involve teen drivers, and a large majority of fatal crashes. In the past, this type of statistic was attributed to underage drinking. However, through great effort of the MADD program and other similar programs, underage drinking accidents have decreased at a phenomenal rate.

This same method of positive reinforcement and encouragement to be responsible that these anti-underage drinking programs employ can be applied to issues such as distracted driving and passenger behavior.


Jamica Bell is a blogger and concerned parent to 3 young adults. She contributes this article to highlight how distractive passengers can be just as dangerous as any other distraction in the car. During her research she found the legal site,, to be very informative regarding the impact a car accident can have on an individual.

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