Willens Law Offices Articles How Backseat Drivers Can Contribute to an Accident

How Backseat Drivers Can Contribute to an Accident

By Matthew Willens  Jan. 4, 2016 8:36p

"Backseat drivers" contribute to about 14 percent of car accidents and near misses, according to a 2011 study conducted by Esure car insurance. Although most of us consider back seat drivers a mere annoyance, the study showed that their criticisms and comments of driving can cause driver distraction. It was also shown that men are more likely to take their eyes off the road when they have a back seat driver with them. On the other hand, young drivers are more affected by the distraction of passengers. Mathew Willens of Willens Law explains that there are several ways we can prevent back seat drivers from causing an accident:

Speak to the back seat driver about their habit: The study shows that spouses are most likely to be the back seat drivers that become a distraction and increase the chances of an accident. If you often drive a passenger who frequently comments on your driving or offers too much advice, then be open with them and discuss how their comments and criticism make you feel. Also, educate the person about the risks of back seat driving and ask them to refrain from making unnecessary comments.

Make sure your teen travels with fewer number of passengers: You should encourage your teens to limit the number of passengers in their car. Studies have proved that risk of a teen being involved in an accident increases with the number of other teens in their car. Try to make your child drive with only adult drivers until their driving skills improve.

Give your passengers something productive to do: It has been said that "an empty mind is a devil's workshop". If you can give them something helpful to do, they are less likely to make comments or suggestions. You can make them do some helpful things such as check the map, make phone calls, or change music.

Be extra cautious: If you are going on a long road trip with your family, or you carpool, there are likely to be more distractions so it is important to be extra cautious. Plan ahead and ensure that distractions are kept to the minimum.

Focus on the road and stay calm: When you are faced with unruly passengers or a back seat driver, you should keep your calm and stay focused on the road ahead. You can politely ask the back seat driver to keep quite as you need to concentrate. Do not look away from the road to confront the back seat driver.

If you or someone close to you has been injured in a collision caused by a distracted driver, you should consult Willens Injury Law to learn more about your legal rights and to pursue a claim for compensation.

Call Willens Law Offices today at (312) 957-4166 to schedule a free consultation.

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