For young drivers, mastering manoeuvres, swotting up on the Highway Code and practicing for the hazard perception test is all par for the course when trying to get your driving licence.
But the best young drivers also consider the friends and passengers they’ll have in the car when they finally ditch the ‘L’ plates.
Well now, a new survey of 18-25 year old driving licence holders, from MORE TH>N SM>RT WHEELS, has revealed that over a third say their friends are distracting passengers, with more than half agreeing that the more passengers in the car, the more distracting it is when driving. In fact, 85 per cent of the young drivers surveyed agree that distracting passengers are more likely to cause an accident.
To encourage young drivers to think about their behaviour as passengers, Essex funny man Joey Essex is leading MORE TH>N’s campaign to celebrate young drivers who show positive behaviours and promote safety to passengers.
The reality TV star, who passed his driving test on the fourth attempt, said: “Don’t get me wrong, going on a road trip with mates is always fun, but it’s bang out of order to distract the driver when they’re trying to concentrate on the road. At the end of the day it’s everyone in the car who needs to act responsibly, the driver and every single passenger too.”
MORE TH>N and Joey want to start a conversation about what safe passenger behaviour looks like. Whether it’s updating the Highway Code with questions that spell out the most dangerous and distracting behaviours passengers exhibit, or giving learners advice and information during their driving lessons, it’s evident that more information and guidance on what safe passenger behaviour looks like would be valuable.
Though distracting behaviours might seem harmless at the time, for an unlucky 16 per cent of young drivers, these distractions have resulted in a car crash of some sort.
63 per cent of all accidents, as a result of distractions in the car, resulted in injury to the driver or passenegrs, with the average repairs costing £542.
Young drivers say that when their friends are in the passenger seat, 18 per cent encourage them to speed, and for the 14 per cent who confess to bowing to this peer pressure and putting their foot to the floor, the average speed increase is 15 miles per hour. If it’s not speeding, passenger pals encourage young drivers to play music distractingly loud (23 per cent), eat and drink at the wheel (19 per cent), and even use their phone (5 per cent) whilst on the move.