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Teens with teen passengers at risk of distracted driving

When a teenager gets their driver’s license, they want to share their newfound road freedom with others. They might want one of their friends in with them to start carpooling to school together or to show off their car and new driving skills.

However, in a teenager’s first year of driving, they must take all precautions that they can to ensure that their child begins receiving proper experience on the road. Having other teens with them in the car during their first couple of months is proving to be especially dangerous. Recently, AAA released a study showing that in 2016, the chances for a motor vehicle fatality jumped up nearly 56 percent if a teen driver had a teen passenger with them. It is important to know how having another adolescent in the car with your child can put them in serious danger on the roads of New York.

Talking while driving

If a teen has a friend in the car with them, it is inevitable that they start chatting about other subjects. They can begin talking about school, crushes or their future as one of them tries to keep their eyes on the road. While speaking behind the wheel may come more naturally a few months later, those beginning days can be tricky for your teen to keep their eyes completely straight while carrying a conversation. Unfortunately, the streets of New York are far less forgiving of motorists who take their eyes off the road for more than a second.

Disruptive behavior

Most teens are not mature, responsible adults quite yet. Now that they have someone their age behind the wheel, they can get away with more actions they could not do before. They could turn the radio on loud, try to high five pedestrians on the side or get your child to go faster than they should be. If they take it too far, your child will be at risk no matter if they try to stop the situation or not. They could have a hard time concentrating with the heaters on too high and the seat belt alert constantly going off. While your child should become more tolerable of road hazards, carrying an obnoxious student in the car will not help their developing driving abilities.

Keeping it at a minimum

Before your child thinks about taking all their friends to school or to a local party, remind them of New York’s teen driver passenger policies. Since 2010, the Big Apple allows no more than one passenger under the age of 21 to drive with a junior licensed passenger. The only exception is if you have a parent or guardian with them in the vehicle. The state recommends that newly licensed drivers wait for 6 months before taking another teenager in their car with them.

New York is a city that leaves little room for error for all motorists. Have your teen get some more experience before they start taking their friends on the road. Maybe go with them once in a while to see how they are doing and to get them used to driving with a passenger. Getting a driver’s license is a critical step in an adolescent’s life, so you want to make sure they transition to it as smoothly as you can.

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