85% of high school students admit to being a distracting passenger.
85% of high school students admit to being a distracting passenger. g-stockstudio

Most teenagers admit they're annoying passengers: report

TEENS are a major distraction to those driving, and that's coming straight from the horse's mouth.

A recent survey conducted by RACQ revealed a staggering 85% of high school students admit to being a distracting passenger, prompting the motoring body to issue a wake-up message to teens about the realities of inattention.

RACQ spokeswoman Lauren Ritchie said the research, conducted as part of the organisation's award-winning education program "Docudrama”, highlighted the alarming issue among young adults.

"Distraction is the fastest-growing problem on our roads. While the dangers of distracted driving are well known, the responsibility passengers play in not pulling the focus off the task of driving needs a lot of work,” Ms Ritchie said.

"It might seem harmless to dance along to a song on the radio, offer some food to the driver or hold up your phone to show a photo - but for the driver to look away for even two seconds when driving at 60 km/h, he or she can travel up to 33 metres completely blind.”

"Sadly young drivers, particularly males 17-24 year old, are in the highest risk age group for fatalities. We need teens to recognise the dangers and to do everything they can to stay safe on the roads.”

Ms Ritchie said the research also found more than three quarters of students surveyed experienced a time when they thought their lives were at risk as passengers.

"This can be due to a range of factors: the driver might be travelling too quickly, or they've been drinking or are distracted,” she said.

"Passengers have an important role to play in keeping themselves safe. Not only can they lower their risk of crash by not being a distraction, but also by speaking up when they're feeling unsafe.

"As we head into school holidays, we're asking teens to take a moment to consider how they behave in a vehicle: whether that's when behind the wheel, or when they're in the passenger seat.”



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