Can a Passenger Help to Avoid a Collision?

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Auto Collisions & Car PassengersMost everyone knows what to do when they are the driver on Dallas roads.  Drive safely.  Don’t consume alcohol or even drive under the influence of some prescription medications.  The list goes on and on.  But what if you are a passenger in a vehicle? Safe driving does not always stop with the driver especially when 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 a car wreck:

  • Wear your seatbelt.

Seatbelt use is mandatory[1] in the state of Texas.  Wearing a seatbelt has proven to reduce the potential for injury in many crashes. Some drivers rely upon the airbag and do not buckle up. This is a mistake because air bags are designed as secondary to seatbelts.

  • Avoid being a distraction.

Distracted driving is a leading cause of car collisions in the United States. According to[2], crashes involving distracted drivers injure more than 400,000 people each year.  If you are a passenger, do not be a distraction to the driver while they need to keep their eyes on the road. You 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.

  • 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.

  • Limit your criticisms.

As a passenger, you may offer helpful advice occasionally, but criticism can cause a dangerous distraction for the driver.  Seeing a roadway hazard that the driver has not noticed may provide a reason to alert them, but save any criticisms of a minor mistake until later when you have reached your destination safely.

  • Limit your own cell phone use.

Limit your cell phone use while you are a passenger in 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 to those that are absolutely necessary.

  • Do not let the driver text.

Texting and driving is proven to be one of the most dangerous activities. Studies of shown that a distracted driver can be almost as dangerous as someone who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Do not let the driver text while driving. If necessary, offer to help your driver by texting for them or reading their text to them.

  • Help with navigation. 

Many people use 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.

  • Take on co-pilot duties.

Your risk as a passenger is the same as that of the driver’s and both of you can take steps to ensure your safety. Offer to adjust the sound system or the air conditioner and help the driver avoid looking at the controls, but make changes only when necessary. You can help by searching for something in the console or on the floor when the driver needs it as a few seconds of inattention to the road ahead can result in a rear end collision. 

Contact a Dallas Auto Collision Attorney 

Even if you and the driver take all necessary precautions, you may still be involved in a serious car crash.  If you are a passenger in an auto collision, the experienced auto wreck lawyers at Clements & Clements will review your case in a free consultation and determine the amount of compensation that you are owed for your injuries and damages.  To schedule a free consultation with one of our Dallas auto collision lawyers, call Clements & Clements today at 214-827-1122 or send us an email through our online contact form.