“I bet you can’t make it through that stoplight in time”
“Why are you going so slow?”
“One more drink won’t be a problem”
These are some of the dares freshly minted drivers are faced with before they find themselves in an accident. No sooner have their driving school instructors stepped out of the car than their friends start to egg them on to distractions.
Peer pressure can cause your teen to take risks; you can help prevent them.
Peer pressure can be a simple nudge to drive faster, turn up the music so loud that you can’t hear the horns outside, or blow through a yellow light just as it’s turning red.
Adults are not exempt from peer pressure, but teens are especially susceptible as they are trying to develop friendships at school or work.
PEER PRESSURE IS A PROBLEM
A study in the UK asked 1,000 drivers ages 17-19 at Seevic College about peer pressure.
61% of these teens said that peer pressure influenced how they drove and a third said it was negative. In fact, 14% actually had an accident because of it! Each driver admitted to speeding, driving aggressively or at least going above the speed limit.
Sure, teen peer pressure has been around for a while, but it has only gotten worse with each generation imitating pop culture becomes more commonplace. Dancing and singing are fun (we’re guilty of singing a tune or two at work too), but it shouldn’t take place alongside a moving car or require taking eyes off the road like in Carpool Karaoke.
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia conducted two studies to find out more about the effects of peer pressure on new drivers.
The first study found that teens would label themselves as “thrill seekers” who broke the rules if they had friends riding shotgun.
The second study had 677 teen drivers who were in car crashes. Both male and female drivers said they noticed being more distracted with friends in the car than while driving alone.
Based on these two studies, peer pressure can a play a role in accidents though it’s not the only reason for them: read How Distracted Driving Affects the Brain.
HOW TO HELP YOUR TEEN HANDLE PEER PRESSURE
Watch Your Own Habits
Parents, when you’re behind the wheel, you set an example to everyone in your car, including your teen. Practicing safe driving is something we should all do and remember that we’re making an impression on a young driver.
Talk To Your Teen
If your teen is being pressured to drive irresponsibly, you can remind your teen that the car keys are a privilege not a right. You may ruffle some feathers, but chances are high that they’ll make the right choice in driving smart.
Tell Them To Call You
It may not be the coolest thing to do on their list, but having your teen call you could save their lives. If alcohol is involved, they need to know they can depend on you. Even if it means getting grounded or having privileges revoked temporarily; it’s a much better choice than getting into an accident, a DUI or worse.
Your kids will stay out late and do things you’d wish they didn’t — just like you might’ve as a teen. Even the good kids make mistakes, and you can help be there to let your teen know about risky behaviour behind the wheel when friends are around.
It can be hard to tell if your teen is driving under pressure, but today there’s a new technology called telematics that can help.
What is telematics? Simply put, it is the technology of sending, receiving, and storing information from a remote place.
Driving monitoring devices help young drivers feel empowered because they can self-regulate using a scorecard and improve safe driving. We developed Carrot to give your new driver a Wingman that can let them realize their habits and fix them. Carrot also works with Bluetooth-enabled vehicles by tracking cornering, braking, speeding to stop young drivers from making excuses and nudge them to start driving responsibly.
So ask your new driver if they ever feel pressure to drive recklessly when their friends are with them. We hope this will be useful to keep them on the straight and narrow road.
HOW DO I GET CARROT?
Carrot is as easy to use as ABC:
- Enroll with InsureMy (plus get a 10% discount)
- Connect your vehicle to the Drive With Carrot App
- Buckle up and start getting cash rewards for driving smart!
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