While many of us would love to have a passenger along in the car most of the time, studies have shown that other people riding in the vehicle can actually increase the chances of the driver getting into an accident. Aside from mobile devices, a chatty or noisy passenger can be more of a hazard than a helping hand.
Research has shown that a passenger can increase the chances of the driver figuring in a mishap by as much as 60 percent. But while this may sound like a doomsday scenario, all is not lost. You can still have a good time with family and friends while on the road. All you need to do is adhere to proper behavior while in the vehicle.
For instance, you might want to avoid chatting with the driver during those critical situations such as heavy traffic or when negotiating a tricky or tight bend. You can share your latest adventures later when you’re settled at a coffee shop. For now, though, the driver needs to give his/her full attention to the road ahead.
Another way to avoid driver distractions is to be a good co-pilot. Try to help navigate your way en route to your destination. Help him/her use Waze, answer the phone for them when a call comes in, or simply stop fiddling with that infotainment system. It would also be a good idea to warn the driver of possible obstructions ahead.
Of course, dozing off beside the driver can also be dangerous. This can make the person at the wheel feel sleepy and lose concentration as well. As we said, it’s okay to converse with the driver from time to time. Just don’t be a non-stpp chatterbox, especially when full concentration is called for.
And even if your ride has driver aids like Blind Spot Mitigation, Cross-Traffic Alert, and Adaptive Cruise Control like the Ford Everest, it is still best to keep your eyes, ears, and brain on the business of driving—extra chatty passengers not withstanding.