Did you know that you’re more likely to be in a car accident than in an earthquake or be attacked by a shark? Most of the time things are fine on the road but driving is dangerous. You can make a difference to road safety, even if you aren’t the one driving. We’ve put together some Passenger Empowerment Tips for you.
- Always buckle up (and never share seatbelts)
- Ask the driver if they’d like the side mirrors adjusted.
- Are the blind spots obscured by the goods inside the car? Help reorganise it to clear the view.
- Offer to answer the driver’s phone or send messages. Texting at the wheel is extremely dangerous as we discovered in this blog piece.
- Put pets in proper pet boxes. They get properly excited on the road. Check out more tips for travel with pets here.
- Put the kids in the back. If you hit another car head-on or rear-end it, their little bodies will experience less impact.
- On long trips, make frequent and regular stops to stretch, refresh and relax. Discuss when and where to break along the journey for meals, overnight stays etc. before you drive. This avoids tensions that might arise from journey fatigue.
- Keep talking. TO the driver (not on the phone). Falling asleep at the wheel is a big killer on the road and can happen even on short trips. Help the driver stay alert. If you’re listening to music or podcasts together, make conversation about what you hear and ask the driver questions to gauge drowsiness. Play games like punch buggy (but save the punches for the rest stop) and consider moderate amounts of coffee and energy drinks.
- Watch the road. You may notice other vehicles doing odd things like weaving, speeding, or sitting on blind spots. Comment on it to the driver. It may have gone unnoticed.
- Keep your cool at all times (even if you disagree with the driver’s moves). Don’t yell, yelp, lunge at the wheel or otherwise alarm or annoy the driver.
- Pregnant? Avoid being driven in the first month, and the last month. Driving can exacerbate morning sickness and anxiety. Also, waters breaking much?
- Driver drunk? Do not get into the car. Coax the keys away. Drunk driving is lethal and illegal. Call a cab. Get an Uber. It’s 2018 people. We should all know better.
See how much you can do to stay safe on the road without having your hands on the wheel?
P.S. this applies to uber trips, too!