Be the Best Passenger

Be a Helpful, Distraction-Free Passenger – Follow These Tips

For teens, one of the many distractions leading to car accidents is a disruptive passenger. In fact, many states enforce laws restricting the number of occupants allowed in a teen-driven car.

Some passengers turn up the music, move around, and engage in distracting conversation, among many other bad habits, pulling the driver's attention from the road. Knowing how to be a responsible passenger can be just as important as piloting the car.

Keep These Tips in Mind

Teens should follow these simple suggestions when riding with another teen driver:

  • Be a Navigator – If your driver is using his or her GPS, offer to navigate or help input changes for the destination. This will keep the driver's attention on the road.
  • Act as Lookout – Always watch for road hazards and dangerous situations. If you see a deer, call it out. Practice scanning ahead as if you were driving.
  • Hold the Phone – To keep your driver from texting while on the road, offer to hang on to his or her phone while they drive. That way they aren't tempted to text.
  • Buckle Up – Insist on seatbelts for anyone in the car. Sometimes your friends might need a helpful reminder to keep them safe.
  • Volume Control – Don't crank the music. No matter how excited you and the driver might be to hear your favorite tunes, keep it at a reasonable volume.
  • Remain Seated – Don't climb through the car or engage in horseplay. Not only are these extremely dangerous, they're terribly distracting for the driver.
  • Speak Up – If the driver is engaging in dangerous behavior, don't be afraid to say something. They might not even realize they're putting you in danger.
  • Crowd Control – If you're with a driver who's helping out by picking up an intoxicated friend or sibling, try to keep those passengers from becoming dangerous distractions.

Be Your Own Safety Advocate

All it takes is a second of poor decision-making for an accident to happen. When you and the driver act as a team, you heighten your chances of arriving safely at your destination.

Car accidents are the leading cause of teenage deaths. In fact, teen drivers are 9x more likely to be involved in an accident than experienced drivers. For more information visit our teen driving statistics page.

Check Out Our Teen Driving Resources

An educated, experienced driver will always perform better in hazardous situations. That's why we encourage you to check out the following pages for helpful teen driving information:

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