It is National Passenger Safety Week from January 22nd to the 28th, according to Triple A. The week focuses on the passenger and not only the driver. The overall goal? To promote safe driving practices and prevent unsafe ones by empowering passengers to “Speak Up” when their lives could be in danger due to a reckless driver.
“Passengers can set the ground rules when it comes to their safety,” said Elizabeth Carey, director of public relations at AAA Western and Central New York. “They have the power to keep drivers from using their mobile devices while driving. They should not get in the car with a driver who is impaired, and they have the power to discourage other bad driving choices such as speeding and driving drowsy.”
According to data collected by the NHTSA, roadway deaths in the country have increased significantly due to reckless, drugged, drunk, and distracted driving. The most notable increase was drivers admitting to getting behind the wheel after drinking enough that they had felt they were over the legal limit, the increase was 24%.
Passengers have a right to speak up when they believe their life or safety is in danger. Some of those examples of how and why passengers should speak up are:
- Passengers have a right to get to their destination safely
- Passengers should ensure their driver is safe and responsible
- Ensure all passengers are wearing their seatbelt. (It is NYS Law that all passengers must wear a seatbelt regardless of age)
- Passengers have a right to intervene if they do not feel safe
- Make sure the driver isn’t distracted and to put the phone away