Peer pressure and risk-taking have always been a concern for some drivers, and especially for younger motorists. Teens may be pressured by friends to drive fast or to try “stunts,” whether that’s heading off roading or riding on the roof or hood of a car.
Social media has changed the dynamic. Before, teen drivers may have faced pressure and risk from their immediate group of friends. With TikTok and other platforms, though, they may be encouraged to take risks by people all over the world.
One concern for police, for example, is the rise of “challenges.” Teens and children are encouraged to take part in challenges, such as eating non-food items or taking other risks, and then posting videos of the results online. Teens can get a lot of likes and followers by taking part in these challenges. They’re often dangerous, though, and they become even more dangerous when driving is involved.
So far, a number of social media challenges have been linked to driving. In St. Petersburg, Florida, police have reported that up to a third of all car thefts in the area this summer have linked to a TikTok “Kia Boys” challenge. In this challenge, teens are encouraged to hot wire a car (specifically, a Kia or Hyundai) using a USB. Some teens go joyriding in the stolen cars after stealing them, posing a serious risk to themselves and others on the road around them.
Another challenge from earlier this year asked teen drivers to throw a piece of cheese at something. A number of teens across the country threw slices of cheese at passing cars while driving, a situation that could easily lead to accidents.
A few years ago, another viral TikTok challenge asked teen drivers to drive on the wrong side of the road. This put all teens taking part in danger of a head-on collision.
Can We Prevent Online Challenges?
Dangerous online challenges have been around for years. While parents can talk to their children about the dangers of challenges, teens may still struggle to follow the rules. Teens have brains that are still developing. They may not always understand the consequences of their actions and for them peer acceptance is all-important.
Parents can put some weight behind their words by creating real-world consequences. If your teen driver takes part in dangerous challenges or can’t drive safely, revoke their driving privileges. This can keep your teen safe, too.
What Can I Do If I’m Injured?
It’s frustrating to learn your car accident and injuries could have been prevented and were caused by a driver’s search for online attention. If you are injured in a car crash caused by someone who is driving recklessly, you may have a claim. You may be able to pursue compensation for your medical costs, the time you’ve lost at work, and the damage to your car and other property.
To find out if you have a claim, call Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626 or contact us online. A car accident claims attorney from our Hollywood, Miami, or Homestead offices would be happy to set up a free consultation with you. In your free consultation, you can find out what legal options you have and how much your case may be worth.