California driving laws state that new drivers must have a provisional license at first. No one else is allowed in the car while new drivers are behind the wheel. Parents, guardians, and anyone 25 years old or older are the only exceptions to this law. The only loophole is if someone 25 years old or older is in the car, the rest of the passengers can be younger. This is only the legal aspect as to why passengers matter for new drivers.
Discover why passengers matter for new drivers when it comes to staying safe even after the first year of driving legally.
One of the best ways to understand why passengers matter for new drivers is through statistics. For example, 57% of accidents caused by distractions are due to passengers talking. In fact, 59% of teenage passenger deaths happen when a fellow teen is behind the wheel. These stats show us that new drivers, especially teenage drivers, just aren’t ready to handle the distractions passengers could cause. It is important to understand the risks that come with driving, like death. But even more so, how teens drive with passengers who are peers in the car.
More Than a Distraction
Some studies show that it doesn’t even take a distraction to cause an accident among new drivers with passengers. Some teens feel pressured to be cool or do something dangerous to make for a good story to tell in the halls of school the next day. These risky behaviors not only put the people in the new driver’s car at risk but for anyone sharing the road with them. Driving SHOULD be stressful for new drivers. Remembering and following driving laws is enough for new drivers. Add trying to be a show off for friends and you have a really dangerous mix.
Not all passengers are equal in the eyes of a new driver. This is why passengers matter for new drivers, especially if the passengers are siblings. Siblings could be even worse than friends. Friends, for the most part, aren’t looking for an argument and some may not even attempt to become a distraction. But siblings are very different. Siblings know exactly which buttons to press. Even if the sibling passenger doesn’t want to argue, they know how to make the new driver laugh. That laughter could be even worse than anger.
How to Prevent These Distractions
Luckily, California state laws dictate that new drivers can’t have any passengers under the age of 25 in the car. This law also states that younger passengers can be in the car as long as another passenger is 25 years old or older. The idea is that the person over 25 will know how to stop these distractions and keep everyone as safe as possible. This law is for the first licensed year. Parents, of course, need to help make sure these laws are followed. If not, the new driver not only could get a ticket but could get their license revoked until the age of 18.