Lots of people talk about the dangers of drunk driving or texting and driving, but fewer talk about the human element. Distractions come in all shapes and forms, and one of those is in the shape of people in your vehicle.
Passengers can be a cause of auto collisions. Angry passengers starting arguments during a drive, children crying in the vehicle or even just excited conversation can become so distracting that a driver isn’t really paying attention to what they’re doing.
Passenger distractions are real and could cause collisions
As a driver, it’s very important for you to know how to handle passenger distractions. You need to understand that there is an inherent risk to carrying passengers and that you could end up crashing if you can’t focus because of what’s going on inside your vehicle.
Passengers don’t usually realize the danger they’re putting themselves or others in when they distract the driver, which is why it’s important for you to talk to your passengers about safety before driving.
Even innocent acts may be distracting to drivers
Sometimes, passengers do things that are distracting by accident. Turning the music up, for example, might seem fine, but it could be distracting to a driver trying to focus on the traffic patterns. Talking about an upsetting subject might distress or distract the driver, too.
Even something as nonchalant as saying, “wow, that house looks cool!” could take the driver’s eyes off the road and to the roadside, increasing the risk of a crash.
What can you talk about with your passengers to improve your safety?
You know yourself best. Talk to your passengers about the actions that are distracting to you and ask them not to participate in them.
If you’re driving and someone is being distracting, ask them to stop what they’re doing. If they do not, then it’s appropriate to slow down and pull over until the distraction can be set aside. Whether that’s a fight that you want to stop or you need a bite to eat, pulling over is a better solution than trying to drive while managing the distraction.