Driving with Peers

Driving with your friends and peers on board for the first time can be an exciting time. You have your licence, a car, and freedom to go where you want to go! What could be better?
Driving with Peers

The pressures of new drivers with passengers:

This can be a particularly risky time of your driving career. The pressures of driving in front of your friends and family when you are new to driving yourself, coupled with the freedom and adventures you can now embark upon, with limited experience behind the wheel, can be a recipe for disaster if not kept in check.

Some new drivers (and even some experienced drivers) can feel the urge to impress their passengers with their driving skills. Showing off behind the wheel is almost always going to end up in a bad way as it invites risky behavior. Drivers who push the limits for the thrill of seeing their passengers react, might drive in a way where they try to influence other roads users, for example, getting too close to the vehicle in front to make them speed up.

Passengers can be a powerful influencer and risky behaviour doesn’t always just stem from the driver. Nearly all of us can relate to a time where we felt pressure from our friends to do something, or to behave in a certain way for the benefit of someone, or something else. We don’t want to back away from such situations, as we don’t want to be seen to chicken out as this does our reputation no good, so we go along with it, usually with unpleasant consequences if it goes wrong. The same mindset and peer pressure can be found with driving where drivers and passengers can choose to engage in these behaviours. The added bonus though with combining this behaviour in a car on the road with other drivers and riders about, is that it won’t be long until someone is hurt, and cars and property is damaged.

What can you do?

So what can drivers do if they feel pressured by their passengers, or they feel their passengers might pressure them into doing something if they take them in their car? One strategy is to make up a small fib that gets you off the hook, without you losing face, if the music is going up too loud or your passengers are behaving in a way that you find scary. So to get some control back, you could say that you have a headache and need to turn the music down, you are not feeling too good so you need to go straight home and not give them a lift, you could even say (and it may be true) that you have a black box in the car and there are restrictions on what you can do. Although these are in no way perfect fixes, but they might just give you the out that you need at that time to prevent something from happening.
Distracted by peers
Peer pressure is a big issue especially with young and newly qualified drivers who lack the experience as a driver but have added pressure from their passengers in the car.

For example, the driver can be encouraged to drive faster and generally take more risks, have music up too loud and the passengers themselves acting as a huge distraction for the driver.

Think about it...

Think about the times where you have been a passenger in someone else’s car and you have been uncomfortable or even frightened due to the way the driver was behaving and driving. You don’t have any control at that time and as with all passengers, your life is in the driver’s hands. If you have thought about giving your passengers a bit of a scare for fun then pause and think back to the time when you were scared and put yourself in their place for a minute.

A good driving instructor will deal with this during the course of your driving lessons by discussing risks, issues and coping strategies to help you to manage these risks in the best way that you can.

Let’s not forget that driving with peers can also be a good experience too and it doesn’t have to be filled with negative peer pressure. Lots of drivers will be sensible enough to only carry people who they are comfortable with, and know people who like them, are sensible and won’t engage with dare devil tactics in the car, making the journey smooth sailing.

This is just some of the advice Get Into Driving has to offer