Do Teen Passengers Reduce the Risk of Texting and Driving Among Teen Drivers?

Posted on in Car Accidents

A couple posts ago we wrote about the frequency with which teen drivers use their cellphones while behind the wheel. Although more than half admitted to texting while driving, the majority also recognized distracted driving as a danger while driving. According to a different survey, peer pressure may, in part, be responsible for the growing recognition of car accident risk.

A new survey conducted by Consumer Reports may demonstrate that the presence of teen passengers may discourage teen drivers from picking up their cellphones while driving. Parents are already well in tune with the dangers of peer pressure for a teen driver, but that same peer pressure may reduce one form of teen driving safety risk.

According to the survey, about half of teen drivers say when there are friends in the car that they are less likely to text or talk on a cellphone, and almost half of the surveyed teens said they had asked a friend to put down his or her cellphone while driving for safety reasons. Therefore it seems that using a cellphone while driving is holding less and less appeal among teenagers.

While cellphone use behind wheel may hold less appeal among teen drivers, the same Consumer Reports survey found that many parents do not practice what they preach. Nearly half of the surveyed, teen drivers said that their parents use a cellphone while driving. All handheld cellphone use is banned while driving in California, and teen drivers cannot be expected to follow the rules of the road, if parents do not set a good example.

Driving safety is especially important for teens because car accidents remain the number one cause of death for that age group.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Can Teens Prevent Friends From Texting and Driving?" Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, May 30, 2012

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