The State’s peak motoring body has issued a stern warning to teenage drivers and their passengers in the lead up to school holidays.
It comes after alarming new research revealed a staggering 74 percent of high school students have admitted to being scared for their lives as car passengers.
RACQ spokesperson Clare Hunter said the research, conducted as part of the club’s ‘Docudrama’ road safety education program, highlighted the shocking reality that faced young adults when they hopped in the passenger seat.
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“Teens can feel they’re in danger in a car for a range of reasons,” Ms Hunter said.
“The driver might be travelling too fast, or perhaps they’ve been drinking or are distracted.”
“Safety isn’t just up to the driver… passengers also have a role to play too. Not only can they lower their risk of crash by not being a distraction, but also by speaking up when they’re feeling their lives are at risk.”
Ms Hunter said it was a timely reminder as hundreds of young people prepared to head to Stradbroke Island for pre-schoolies celebrations.
“Our statistics show more than 80 percent of teens admitted to distracting the driver so it’s clear the responsibility passengers play in ensuring the driver stays focused on the road needs a lot of work,” she said.
“Dancing to songs, offering food to the driver and holding your phone up to show off an Instagram post could distract the driver for two seconds – when driving at 60 km/h that’s enough to travel up to 33 metres completely blind.
“We know this is a time to celebrate the end of term but behaving sensibly on the roads could be the difference between lifelong memories and a life lost.”