Are you a back seat driver?
Sometimes being a back seat driver is a bad thing… Sometimes it is a good thing...
Sometimes it is annoying or dangerous if you distract the driver. Drivers really need to be able to concentrate on the road. Having loud conversation or blaring radio or screaming kids does not help. Let the driver get you to your destination safely.
Conversely, sometimes being a back seat driver is a good thing. Helping the driver adjust temperature controls or the radio is a job left to the passenger. Navigating is another great help to the driver. Here is where most people (passengers) don’t speak up. If you see the driver looking at their phone and/or texting, now is the time to say something. In 2021, 3,522 people lost their lives because of distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA).
An insurance company recently surveyed more than 2,000 adults and found that 73% agreed that texting and driving is not socially acceptable. 43% of drivers who, when corrected by a passenger, put down the phone and never text while driving again. 47% may have stopped texting in the moment, but eventually did it again.
It is illegal in most states, including Massachusetts, to text and drive and you can get a fine and a surcharge on your insurance for texting and driving. Most newer vehicles today are equipped with hands free texting abilities. Also, most phones are equipped with hands free texting and dialing. Learn how to use those functions. “Pair” your phone to your vehicle and never take your phone out of your pocket. Let technology work for you.
So, speak up! It is not about starting an argument, but saving lives and preventing injuries. Ask your friend and loved one NOT to text while driving.
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