Distracted driving is a leading cause of fatal accidents. It killed at least 3,179 people in 2014 alone, according to Distraction.gov. Although cell phone use contributes to a significant number of these crashes, passengers can be just as dangerous.

According to the Automobile Association, 18 percent of surveyed drivers said they had an accident or near-miss within the last 12 months due to a distracting passenger. Fortunately, there are steps that passengers can take to reduce the likelihood of a collision. These include:

·       Not using a cell phone;

·       Not backseat driving;

·       Helping the driver when reversing;

·       And minimizing noise levels.

Unfortunately, nobody can control the actions of negligent motorists. If you were injured in a wreck that another driver caused, contact the Churdar Law Firm.

Doug Churdar is a car accident lawyer in Greenville who can assess your case to determine if you may have a legitimate claim for compensation. Call 864-233-0203 to schedule a consultation. You can also visit http://accident.usattorneys.com/ to learn more about injury lawsuits.

Here are four safety tips that can help passengers prevent accidents:

1. Do Not Use Your Cell Phone

It is common knowledge that drivers should not text or talk on a cell phone behind the wheel, but passengers should also refrain from using smartphones. Notification sounds, game noises and videos can distract the driver. Also, the glow from the screen can cause a glare on the windshield that disrupts the driver’s vision. It is best that passengers keep their phones on silent while the engine is running.

2. Trust the Driver

Driving can be stressful – especially in heavy traffic or inclement weather. Transporting a “backseat driver” can only make the situation worse.

Drivers must be able to make quick decisions in life or death situations, but backseat drivers can cause hesitation or doubt. Do not critique your driver’s performance on the road.

3. Be Helpful

Passengers can be helpful lookouts in some situations such as when reversing. Drivers enjoy having a second pair of vigilant eyes to help them avoid hazards. Although you should never overstep your boundaries and become a backseat driver, you should still speak up if you see a hard-to-notice obstacle in the vehicle’s blind spot.

4. Reduce Noise Levels

Passengers should reduce all unnecessary noise levels and minimize their rambunctiousness. The danger of passenger noise is one reason why teenage drivers should wait a few months before transporting other people.

A loud or unexpected noise can draw the driver’s attention long enough to cause a crash. Passengers should never argue or talk loudly.

If you were injured by a negligent driver in South Carolina, contact the Churdar Law Firm. Doug Churdar is a Greenville injury attorney who can handle settlement negotiations on your behalf. He has achieved successful outcomes in injury cases involving auto accidents, truck crashes, brain trauma and other types of injury. Call 864-233-0203 to schedule a consultation.

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