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There are many sources of information providing tips on becoming a better driver – yet the importance of passenger behaviour is so often overlooked. Yet actions, often inadvertent, by a passenger, can distract the driver, either physically or mentally. This can quickly lead to an accident. Here are five simple ways to be a top-class passenger…

1. Wear your seatbelt

And make sure any kids in the vehicle are also properly buckled-up. It’s safe, but also a useful way to prevent excessive, sudden, and often driver-distracting movement.

2. Be careful about becoming a travel guide

This is when the passenger starts making sudden statements like: ‘Would you look at that over there?’ Or even worse, starts giving directions based on something interesting: ‘Stop! We’ve got to look at this!’ Yes, this can seem like a plot from a television comedy, but can have hugely serious outcomes in real life.

3. Offer to be the navigator when your journey takes you to new destinations.

This means planning beforehand and knowing clearly how the journey should progress. It doesn’t include screaming: ‘Turn right here’ 20 metres before and exit road!

4. Offer to work some dashboard controls

If a passenger takes control, with the driver’s agreement, of areas such as the air-conditioning, entertainment system and the like, this can leave the driver to concentrate on the actual driving. Remember though, this doesn’t mean having the sound at a volume that you enjoy but the driver finds distracting!

5. Keep conversations calm

And sometimes keep your mouth shut! How often are drivers distracted by a sudden disagreement or argument? You might need to ‘have it out’ at some stage, but it’s best to wait at least until the vehicle is safely parked!

Most of the above may seem blindingly-obvious, yet accidents do happen as a result of poor passenger behaviour.

If you are the victim of a not at fault car accident

Even with perfect passengers, sadly accidents do occur. If it’s happened to you, and you are the innocent party, and your car is going to be off-the-road for a while, then as soon as you can, dial 1800699034 and talk to our experienced Not My Fault team. Many people still don’t realise that, Under Australian Law, they are entitled to the use of a courtesy accident replacement vehicle if involved in an accident that wasn’t their fault…