"Why didn't you take the other way?! You've stuck us in a jam!"
Does the above sound familiar? They are usually uttered in the car by your passengers; better known as 'back-seat drivers'. But don't get us wrong, no. Not all passengers are back-seat drivers, and not all passengers are 'bad' back-seat drivers. There are good suggestions, and bad ones. Those that need to navigate the driver, and the others. Yet in all this, the driver becomes the one in the middle of the conversation and arguments, bringing risk to the drive, and worse, distracting the driver.
Distracted driving is a major issue that spreads around the world, most of the attention today has been directed at drivers and mobile phones. Yet, one of the top distractions may be the passengers. Researchers have found that passenger's behaviour is just as crucial as the driver’s when it comes to safety. An early study showed that drivers with passengers were 60 per cent more likely to have a crash resulting in serious injury compared to when driving alone. Passengers play an important role as they can influence driver behaviours both positively and negatively. For example, while women may not be perpetrators of risky driving, the presence of a man in the passenger’s seat was more likely to cause women to practice risky driving than if traveling with another woman. Drivers also tend to be less observant and less able to anticipate hazards when there are passengers in a vehicle.
5 Easy Pointers On Becoming A Good Passenger
Be a helpful co-pilot
It’s vital to take an active role during the driver by navigating, answering the phone, warning of approaching hazards and keeping the driver company.
Don’t distract the driver
If you expect the driver to focus on the road, do your part to minimize distractions. Don’t talk loudly on the phone, constantly change the music or comment on their driving. This may affect them mentally.
Sleeping passengers can increase the chance of the driver falling asleep as well. If needed, swap drivers during long journeys so everyone can take a short nap when tiredness sets in.
Keep Kids Safe
Avoid meltdowns by being prepared with a snack, book or other activities for children. Your “previous cargo” – everyone in your car – should be safely secured with seat belts and age-appropriate car seats to minimize distractions and maximize safety.
You have the right to tell drivers to stop putting your lives in danger if they are driving recklessly or engaging in risky behaviour.
In a nutshell, instead of creating or contributing to a problem on the road, you can take more responsibility as an engaged co-pilot. Stay calm, help the driver to navigate on the road. Also remember, the next time a driver takes a wrong turn, be the perfect passenger and offer kind words and patient navigation. This ensures a safe on-the-road experience for both the driver and passenger.
A driver's role is not to be taken lightly. Here are 5 driving tips to help you improve yourself as a driver you must know. Click here for more.
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