Tag Archives | child passenger

Along for the ride

When it comes to driving safely, the focus tends to be on what the driver should or shouldn’t be doing. But what about putting the responsibilities of the passenger in the driving seat? When you get into someone’s car, the expectation is that they’ll be competent enough to drive safely. But what should you be doing as a passenger to help stay safe? A vow of silence as soon as you hit the road is not required, but make yourself aware of the extent of the driver’s workload. Whether you’re just nipping to the high street or on a longer journey, your driver has to juggle complex junctions plus other drivers, as well as keeping an eye out for all signs or turnings; even the most skilled of multi-taskers will need their full attention. It’s smart to be considerate with your conversation. Try to wait for quieter stretches of road, or when you’re waiting in traffic before serious chatting and avoid debates. If you have children in the car, you don’t need to be Julie Andrews, but let them focus on you not the person behind the wheel. If you’ve been out socialising, it’s important to respect your designated driver, so don’t offer them a bite of your kebab on the bypass. The best advice is try to be useful and cut driver distractions, at least offer to operate the satnav, playlist or radio, keep watch for diversions and read the road signs. Above all be tactful, keeping a watchful eye is one thing, but criticising every move your driver makes will only annoy them.

Pick your passenger

As a new driver you’ll have to take a passenger of your own age for the first time at some point. Just remember that driving with your instructor doesn’t prepare you for chatting with a mate and driving, so your first passengers can help by being quiet and not encouraging you to drive in a way you don’t want to.

Best advice: build up, starting with one responsible friend before carrying multiple passengers.

Again, you’ll probably have kids or a pet as passengers at some point and they are a distraction, so it’s best to wait a while until you are 100% confident. If you do have to drive a child or animal somewhere, remember they’re unpredictable. Make sure they’re securely settled and if in doubt how to do this check online for regulations.