Pass on Passengers
By: Rhea Bhat | SADD National Student Leadership Council
Whether you’re, sipping on your latte, mesmerized by a flock of birds, or of course, checking your phone to approve your newest Insta follower during the drive to your destination – you’re distracted. Did you know that having too many passengers in the car can also lead to distracted driving? Any activity that takes away from your primary task of driving is considered a distraction, which certainly includes unruly passengers.
As a teen driver, I know that I still lack experience behind the wheel. It’s going to take a great deal of practice to gain the training I need to be a safe and attentive driver. A very important step in the process of learning to drive is becoming familiar with your state’s Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws. As a resident in the state of Connecticut, I have followed our GDL laws to a T, to ensure that I don’t skip a beat in becoming the safest driver I can be, not only for myself and my passengers, but also for others that I’m sharing the road with.
Each state has different variations of GDL laws, but they all have some level of safety restrictions set in place to help teens become more competent and experienced with the task of driving. According to NHTSA, inexperience and risk-taking are key factors that contribute to most teen crashes. By following the GDL passenger restrictions, teen crash rates can ultimately be lowered. To see what your state’s GDL laws entail, click here.
Passengers always have a responsibility to ensure that their driver is following the law. In many cases, the passenger is the one who can distract the driver which can result in severe consequences. I was hit by a distracted driver while crossing a road about 3 years ago, and I truly hope that no one else goes through what I did. Please remember that every person has a duty when in a vehicle because one small mistake can change someone's entire life. Avoid distractions, be a respectful passenger, buckle up, and stay safe on our roadways, SADD Nation!