Many car accidents are caused by the driver’s attention being taken away from the road. This can be a physical action or a mental distraction. Such diversions are often caused by the behaviour of a passenger in the vehicle. So, when you are in this situation, here are some tips to help your driver to concentrate.
Be safe yourself
Making sure you are both comfortable and secure can prevent sudden and distracting movement. So, ensure that your seatbelt is secure, and that you don’t suddenly decide to release it to reach for something or to change your sitting position.
Avoid sudden pointing
‘Will you look at that!’ An instruction that could mean you’ve spotted anything from a cute animal by the roadside or a sale in a favourite outlet store! Simply shouting this – often, unbelievably followed by suddenly pointing right across the driver’s vision or automatically reaching out for their arm for emphasis – can have awful results.
Work the dashboard only as the driver wants you to
This doesn’t mean suddenly turning the audio up to full blast because your favourite song has made an appearance! It does mean helping the driver as they ask you to.
Be an in-control navigator
Equally, assuming the role of navigator (or co-pilot if that sounds better) without being asked to do so can lead to driver frustration. If you are providing directional guidance, make it clear and in good time. Last-minute screams of ‘turn here’ are worse than unhelpful.
Avoid starting, or carrying on, arguments
Helping the driver to stay calm means they are in better control of the vehicle. There’s an old saying about never going to sleep on an argument; the same is true of getting into your car for a journey while simmering anger is the prevailing emotion!
Accidents still happen
The above points can seem utterly obvious and almost comical – but each is a cause of serious traffic accidents. But it’s also true that, through no fault of passenger or driver, you can be victims of a ‘not your fault’ accident.
If, after such an occurrence, your car is damaged and off-the-road, under Australian Law you are entitled to a replacement courtesy car. In these circumstances, it’s wise to make contact with our experienced and helpful Not My Fault team as soon as possible and set us to work on your behalf…