Being a driver comes with a lot of responsibility. You have to watch out for pedestrians and other traffic, at all times. Just as important, to you, the driver, are the passengers in your vehicle. Your passengers need to feel safe while you are driving. Passenger safety should always be a priority and here is how you can do that.
Keep the distractions to a minimum. First, let’s define what a distraction is. A distraction is something that takes your attention away from whatever you are doing. For example, when you are working on bills and the phone rings, you get distracted, answer the phone and forget to pay a bill.
There are plenty of distractions while driving:
- Phones – one of the worst distractions today are cell phones. Between people texting and talking while driving the number of accidents has increased dramatically. So, how can a passenger having a phone be a distraction? Just because you are driving and not using your phone (good for you!) doesn’t mean other people in the vehicle aren’t on their phones. If they see something “cool” or interesting they may want you to look at their phone. In order, to see what is on the phone you have to take your eyes off the road. Taking your eyes off the road for even a second can cause an accident.
- Talking – having friends in your vehicle is great, but it can also be a distraction. Wanting to listen to the conversation and participate is natural, but can be dangerous. If you are paying more attention to the conversation than the road you may not see something happening that will require you to react quickly.
- Music – is great, but if you have the music on and passengers talking you will have a very hard time focusing on the road. Focusing on the road should be your only goal when you are behind the wheel.
Be a Good Passenger, Helps with Passenger Safety
Along with being a defensive driver, you can help other drivers by being a good passenger. Don’t distract the driver by asking them to “look at this”, or by talking too loudly with the other passengers. If you see that there is a lot of traffic it might be better to stop talking altogether so the driver can pay attention to everything going on, outside of the car.
Passenger safety should always be a priority. Driving any vehicle requires a lot of concentration and focus. And although experience certainly helps, it does not make a person a great driver. A great driver is someone who is aware of what is going on inside and outside of the vehicle. By knowing what is going on you can react more quickly which gives you a better chance of avoiding an accident. If the people in the vehicle with you are being too loud or are trying to distract you, in some way, let them know they need to stop so you can pay attention to the road. Your job is to get everyone to the destination safely.