Can passengers contribute to crash risks?

| Aug 1, 2020 | Firm News |

Tennessee drivers do everything you can to stay safe on the road. This means following the law and staying alert. It means avoiding driver distractions wherever possible. But sometimes, you may not even know that you are participating in a distraction.

For example, many people listen to music while driving. But did you know this is a distraction? Another big issue involve passengers in your car.

Types of driver distractions

The National Safety Council discusses the dangers of driver distraction. Passengers can create many distracting scenarios. The first thing to understand is how driver distractions break down into categories. There are three primary ones. This includes physical, visual and cognitive distractions. Physical distractions take your hands from the wheel. Visual distractions bring your eyes from the road. Cognitive distractions take your mind off of the task at hand. In this case, that task is driving.

Dangers of passengers regarding distractions

A passenger has the ability to create distractions in all three categories. For example, let us say you have a child in the back seat. You may take your eyes off the road to check on them if they get fussy. If your child is in the front seat and drops something, you may reach over to pick it up. It is also common to hold discussions with your passengers. Unfortunately, this creates cognitive distractions. You are more focused on the chat than on the road.

For most people, it is not practical to tell passengers to stay still and silent for an entire ride. But you can set up rules about conversations or actions that can limit distractions. For example, you can limit discussions in situations that require your full focus. In setting these boundaries, you protect yourself, your passengers, and everyone around you.

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