“Mom, he’s touching me!”
“Dad, can we stop to get something to eat?”
Rowdy passengers may not always be in a tiny human form, they can be friends of a teenage driver or adults who are under the influence. No matter the scenario, rowdy passengers can be a significant distraction to drivers.
According to NBC News, a University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center study found that teenagers with passengers who were talking loudly or being rambunctious were six times more likely to be involved in a serious driving incident — whether that was a near-collision or actual crash. The study also found that teen drivers were twice as likely to stop or slow their vehicle down quickly, including hard braking, when there were rowdy passengers with them.
For parents with children who are being rambunctious in the back of the vehicle, this can also pose a significant distraction. It’s not always possible for the driver to stop the vehicle and talk to the children about the problem at hand. Talking sternly or yelling at the children will usually not fix the problem either. Drivers who have children misbehaving in the car have a few options:
- Ask calmly for the children to start behaving, whether that’s to, “Please stop touching each other,” or “Please keep the noise of your game quieter so I can concentrate on driving.” By asking the children calmly, you’ll show them you’re trying to remain calm and this will mentally help you stay focused on the road.
- If you are close to home or your destination, you could wait to have the discussion when you arrive there. Try to block out the distraction and focus on the road and destination that is close by.
- Set rules for the vehicle ahead of time. Have a noise meter for your children ranging from 0-5 with 0 meaning silence. Let the children know what level they’re on, and what level you would like them to be on. If the noise level conditions increase, warn the children that they could soon need to be at a level 0 and that there could be other consequences associated with it. This is also something you could practice with children ahead of time whether at home or visiting others.
If you find yourself injured in a distracted driving accident, you will want an experienced lawyer in your corner. That’s where Lanier Law Group, P.A. can help. Call us today to learn more — (855) 757-4204.