Even experienced drivers can use a hand now and then to avoid an accident. Generally, the busier the roadway the more help they can use. Safe driving does not always stop with the driver. Arriving safely is always the goal for everyone in the car.
Here’s what you can do as a passenger to help avoid being injured in an accident:
A). Wear your seatbelt.
Seatbelt use is mandatory in the state of Texas and for good reason. Wearing a seatbelt has proven to reduce the potential for injury in many accidents. Some drivers rely upon the airbag and do not buckle up. This is a mistake because air bags are designed as secondary to seatbelts.
B). Avoid being a distraction.
Do not be a distraction to the driver while they need to keep their eyes on the road. Certainly can have a discussion with the driver and also aid in navigation and traffic identification, but avoid those situations where you become the focal point and not the road.
C). Keep a calm environment.
Listing to the radio or music is fine but avoid extremely loud music or a boisterous environment for the driver. Being able to hear horns and sirens is an important part of roadway safety. Jacking with the driver is never a good idea.
D). Limit your own cell phone use.
Limit your cell phone use while you are passenger and another person’s car. The driver may be tempted to be included in the conversation thus diverting their attention from the roadway where it is needed. If you can, limit your telephone conversations in the field goal to those that are absolutely necessary. Personal etiquette is attractive.
F). Do not let the driver text.
Texting and driving is proven to be one of the most dangerous activities today. Studies of shown that a Texan driver can be almost as dangerous as someone who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Do not let your driver text while driving. If necessary, offer to help your driver by texting for them or reading their text to them. Preferably, as a driver to put their telephone on silent and wait until you have arrived to respond to text messages.
G). Help with navigation.
Many people are using their cell phones to navigate to their ultimate destination. GPS has been an incredible development but when a driver takes their eyes off the highway to look at their cell phone screen even for directions it creates a dangerous situation. Most cell phones will offer speech navigation which is much better than looking at the screen. A passenger may be able to help with navigation by pointing out in advance turns that need to be net made and also making sure lanes are open and your driver signals their intentions. A driver with someone helping navigation is a much safer driver than someone doing it on their own.