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Passenger Help

Passenger help.


For many people, growing up we were taught to make our own decisions. We were urged to become leaders and not followers. We were encouraged to become responsible for our own actions. For the most part, I think that has happened. Raising my kids in that sense has worked out well for the most part, but they still sometimes need our help. Offering help is something we can do for our family and friends, even if they don’t think they need it. This can even work if you’re a passenger in the vehicle.

Let’s be clear though, being a ‘backseat driver’ is not a good thing. The driver needs to be the one in control of the vehicle and make solid driving choices. However, it’s before they drive that passengers can help them. This is extremely important if the driver is impaired and intends to drive.

Whenever we get to be passengers in a vehicle we often sit back, relax and wait until we get to our destination. But I pose a question; do passengers have a responsibility to stop drunk people from driving? In many cases, yes.

Some people may believe everyone has to deal with their own decisions. If you’re in the vehicle with them, wouldn’t their decisions also affect you? Regardless of whether they are a friend or not, if the driver has had too much to drink, wouldn’t that also affect your safety? Of course it would, but what can you do?

Avoid becoming confrontational. Alcohol can reduce our inhibitions, so although your friend may normally be easy-going, they can turn nasty after too many drinks. Confrontation can set them off. Be firm but remain calm. It would be wise to take action early though. Avoid waiting until the end of the night when your friend might be tired and impaired enough not to listen to you or the advice you’re giving them. If you determine your friend is well on their way to certain impairment, act early so you won’t make a scene or cause unnecessary conflict between the 2 of you. This may be the time to offer them an individual or personal breathalyzer from Not Your Child Corp.

Personal breathalyzers are quite inexpensive and easy to obtain. Not Your Child Corp has a number of individual or personal breathalyzers to choose from. These breathalyzers are also quite easy to use and very accurate to give you the knowledge whether your friend should be driving or taking an alternative means to reach their destination after consuming alcohol. Some people may think you would carry one if you plan to drink, but why not carry one if your friends plan to drink so they know if they are safe and sober enough to drive after drinking?

After helping your friend to avoid driving impaired, I’m sure they would appreciate the efforts made to help keep them safe. This would of course include keeping them safe from themselves. The kind of effort you show your friends seems to give everyone some piece of mind knowing everyone can get home safely. And remember, “When you feel different, you drive different. Drive sober.” As a passenger in a vehicle, we need to accept this as well.


Scott Corner Blogs

Scott Marshall has spent over 30 years promoting road safety in many jurisdictions. He has been a road safety journalist since 2005. Scott was also an on-air judge on the Discovery Network's Canada's Worst Driver during their first 3 seasons on the air. Not YourChildCorp. is proud to have Scott @Safedriver as a frequent contributor, his insights are irreplaceable.

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