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Sit down and shut up? How to be a good pillion passenger?

Snapshot: Don’t be just a dummy sitting in the passenger seat. You can help the driver by being his/her eyes and ears. Keep an eye out for things happening at your side of the car.

We all must have heard the phrase ‘bad driver’ but do we really know anything about a ‘bad passenger’? Everyone keeps telling us that we need to be a good driver and how we can do that but there are a lot of rules that apply to passengers as well. They also have a fair share of contribution in how the car is driven and how well the driver is driving. The activities of a passenger can thus affect the safety of all the occupants of vehicle. Here we have discussed the role of a co-passengerand factors should be taken care of in case you are a passenger.

Assist
Don’t be just a dummy sitting in the passenger seat. You can help the driver by being his/her eyes and ears. Keep an eye out for things happening at your side of the car.There are certain blind spots for the driver and the passenger can be of great help in keeping track of those blind spots. In regions like parking and side roads, there can be small poles or low walls that might go unnoticed by the driver can be noticed by the passenger. Plus while changing lanes, there are some blind spots for the driver, especially when in a large vehicle like SUV or MUV. The passenger can better guide the driver to make these manoeuvres effortless.

Don’t Disturb
It is okay to have a little chat along the way but don’t be a chatterbox. Make sure the driver has got his/her concentration on the road. And we are not just talking about the chat with driver but also about the chat between passengers. No matter how hard one tries, it is hard to ignore all the chatter going on inside the car cabin. So even if you have to talk, try to keep it brief.

Don’t Distract
How much do you hate it when your passenger gives you a driving lesson? If you are in the passenger seat, you don’t have to give an instruction for everything. The driver is behind the steering because he/she knows how to drive. Don’t make it hard for him/her with your panic responses. Gasping, yelling and exclaiming pulls away the concentration of driver.

Be Alert
We suggested that you shouldn’t be distracting the driver while you are a passenger. But that doesn’t mean that you should be entirely cut off from the driver. You are still supposed to be alert and make sure that nothing goes wrong. The dynamics of a small car are very much different with more people on board. This makes it very different for the driver and if someone is not very much used to this, he/ she might need some help. You should also keep the music at reasonable volumes at all times. It is supposed to be a car, you don’t have to turn it into your home theatre. Also make sure that you don’t doze off while in the front seat. Sleep really induces very quickly and it won’t be long before the driver would start yawning and might dose off eventually which could end badly. Even if you are very tired and are planning to take a nap, don’t do that in the front seat. Go to the rear seat, give yourself some rest for a while and then come back to the front seat.

Be a Navigator
Navigating isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Some people are really bad with routes and doing the job while driving could be really tough for some people. You can help such drivers by being the navigator for them. Reading GPS isn’t exactly very easy while driving. Even worse if someone is counting on a mobile device rather than a dedicated car GPS. The maps get really very confusing at some junctions and even so in small cities. It makes the job of going around a new place really easy for the driver. The passenger can keep an eye on the map and keep the driver informed in advance about the route ahead. While the voice guided navigation systems have come a long way, it doesn’t hurt to make sure nothing is going wrong.

All these little factors would work really great in making your drive trouble free and make sure that you make it to your destination without any issues. This not only ensures your safety but also the safety of other road occupants. Follow all these little suggestions and you can be a ‘good passenger’ to complement the ‘good driver’.

Do you know? 50% of road death accidents in India take place at crossings! - Infographic

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