St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, and Tampa residents are gearing up for the festivities. Although the holidays are the perfect times to enjoy fun with family and friends, it is critical that drivers learn the risks that come with alcohol-infused celebrations.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of people who died in drunk-driving crashes on St. Patrick’s Day in 2011 exceeded the national average for that year. Many motorists know that defensive driving can prevent crashes, but some are not aware that passengers can help prevent accidents, as well.
A study reported on Automobile Association revealed the top-10 distractions on American motorists. According to the survey, 18 percent of responders said they had a near miss or a crash in the last 12 months due to a passenger. This was the most common distraction reported.
During the holidays, drivers must remain vigilant to notice reckless or drunk motorists. Passengers have to take responsibility and do what they can to prevent distractions.
If the worst happens and you suffer an injury from a drunk driver in Florida, contact the Law Offices of Needle & Ellenberg, PA. A Tampa car accident attorney can evaluate your crash, gather evidence and help you navigate the claims process.
Call 305-290-1736 to schedule a consultation.
Here are four ways passengers can help drivers avoid accidents:
1. Put Your Cell Phone Away
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 69 percent of motorists admit they are guilty of chatting on their phones while driving. The dangers of texting behind the wheel are well known, but many people are not aware that passengers’ phones can also distract drivers.
YouTube videos, games, ringtones and alerts can draw a driver’s attention long enough to cause a crash. Even the lit screen can be a distraction. As a passenger, you should resist the urge to use your phone while the car is in motion.
2. Do Not Cause Unnecessary Stress
Backseat drivers are not only frustrating, but they are also distracting. Questioning the driver’s decisions adds unnecessary stress, which can make him or her indecisive. Passengers must be confident that the driver can get them to their destination safely.
Young drivers are particularly vulnerable to the distractions of passengers. In fact, they should not carry any for at least six months after getting their driver’s licenses. If a friend in your group is a new driver and planning to transport everyone to St. Patrick’s Day festivities, make sure the passengers are respectful.
3. Be an Extra Pair of Eyes
Passengers can offer an extra pair of eyes for the driver, especially on St. Paddy’s Day when drunk drivers are so abundant. As a passenger, try to be vigilant and alert. Let the driver know if another motorist appears drunk so he or she can maintain some distance.
4. Make Less Noise
Dodging intoxicated drivers is dangerous enough without passengers being rowdy and disrespectful. If there are several passengers in the vehicle, try to stay occupied without being too loud.
Unfortunately, nobody can control the actions of other drivers. If you or a loved one was injured due to another motorist’s negligence, contact the Law Offices of Needle & Ellenberg, PA.
A Tampa personal-injury lawyer can structure your claim and handle settlement negotiations on your behalf. Call 305-290-1736 to schedule a free initial consultation.