How Passengers Can Help Reduce Distracted Driving

Based on data compiled by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving caused 3,450 fatalities in 2016. In 2015, about 391,000 people were injured due to distracted drivers. Many a Los Angeles personal injury attorney is familiar with claims involving distracted driving related accidents, and even how such problems can be avoided. For example, the majority of safety guidelines focus on drivers when it comes to reducing distracted driving. However, there are steps passengers can take to help do so as well.

driving with smiling passenger

A passenger can help a driver stay focused on the road by:

  • Sending urgent emails and texts: Texting while driving represents one of the most dangerous causes of accidents. Why be the one to write a text or email if you are driving? Ask a passenger to reply to a text or draft a work email while you keep your eyes on the road and mind focused. A little help goes a long way—and it can mean reaching your destination without incident.
  • Responding to calls and alerts: Phone calls seem to occur at the least convenient times, like when you’re driving. You can put the phone on silent, but a passenger can help by addressing these calls so you don’t have to, and notify you in case it’s important and you need to pull over to check things out.
  • Checking the map or GPS: It is perfectly fine to have a designated navigator. Having a map unfurled at the driver’s seat is dangerous, but a passenger can relay the necessary information, while setting the GPS is safer when someone else is up to the task. A passenger can use the GPS function on their mobile device as well. 

Believe it or not, distractions by passengers can be more dangerous than talking on the phone. The Washington Post reported findings by the NHTSA that revealed talking to passengers causes over half of auto accidents. Passengers can be the source of multiple distractions, from talking to arguing. A passenger may try to wipe the window, obstructing your field of view, or children may distract you by misbehaving.

Passengers should be attentive to a driver’s needs and not engage in distracting behavior. Additional things they can do to reduce distracted driving, and even assist the driver, include:

  • Tending to small children, if there are any in the car, so they do not distract the driver.
  • Contributing to situational awareness, focusing the conversation on road traffic and potential hazards.
  • Controlling the air conditioner or radio while the driver focuses on more pertinent tasks.
  • Aiding in reading signs and landmarks when traveling in an unfamiliar area.
  • Speaking up if the driver repeatedly makes unsafe choices and judgements on the road.

Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Los Angeles

Being injured in a car accident is often a life-changing experience. An accident settlement can cover your medical costs, daily expenses, and pain and suffering, but fighting insurance companies requires the help of the top Los Angeles personal injury attorney. The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani is here to help you win financial compensation. Serving all of California, including Los Angeles and Orange County, we can come to your home or place of work and help file your lawsuit. Your initial consultation is free, and you pay no fees unless your case wins. Contact us at 888-952-2952 or online today to get started and we’ll fight for your rights every step of the way.