According to recent survey results, teenagers are increasingly viewing texting and driving as dangerous behavior and as passengers they’re becoming more and more comfortable asking drivers to be more careful behind the wheel. But for those less sure of themselves, safety experts offer several tips for approaching the subject while riding in someone else’s car.
Sometimes, experts advise, a driver will respond to a subtle hint, such as a passenger offering to text on his or her behalf. Warning the driver that police have been cracking down on distracted drivers recently, or pointing out potential road hazards — especially the dangerous driving habits of other texting motorists — might also get the point across.
If the driver just doesn’t get the hint, a more direct approach could be more effective. A passenger clearly and concisely voicing his or hear concerns about the safety risks of texting while driving can often convince a driver to put down the phone. Recent studies indicate that the majority of drivers are aware that text messaging behind the wheel puts the driver and others at risk. Expressing fear and nervousness can also convince the driver to be more cautious if only to keep from making his or her passenger uncomfortable.
Peer pressure can also be very effective. If a group of friends all refuse to ride with a driver because of his or her texting habit, the point will be that much more difficult to ignore.
If a driver continually refuses to put down the phone, experts advise passengers to get out of the car at the next available opportunity to avoid endangering their own lives.