Stephen Haley has written a third article in his thought-provoking series, “How to make novice drivers crash”. This one is on Peer Pressure.
The article opens with: “Another title for this article could have been, “Friends Killing Each Other”. It is about peer pressure on young drivers – how it works, the effect and how to overcome it”.
See what you think. I believe that, for both adults and youngsters, this article contains a lot of very practical help in a vital area of driving.
Young drivers still have about five times the death rate of other drivers, and a strong influence in raising their risk is peer pressure.
At the root of the problem, adolescents feel a strong need to impress their peers. And this obsession is a weakness in making their own decisions. Peer pressure is anchored in a subconscious belief that, “I must do what my peers want and expect”. But trying to impress rarely has the intended effect – especially with reckless driving.
The motives of people who apply this pressure are explained, especially that it is a form of exercising control. Also set out are the reasons why peer pressure is so strong for adolescents in particular.
A separate section, written more directly to young people themselves, offers Twenty Tips for handling peer pressure. These include how to prepare for it in advance, and how to make it less likely to happen.
Importantly, it is not inevitable that peer pressure will make young drivers more dangerous. With the right help, they could handle it.