HOW TO: Be a Better Passenger in 6 Easy Steps

Sometime back, we wrote an article about the importance of being a good driver. However,  passengers can be just as useful. Have a look at our list below about how you can be a good passenger the next time your significant other/friend/colleague gives you a lift.

1. Don’t add to the stress: Remember how your stressful things were when your parents used to question each and every one of your decisions on the road? If you do, make sure that you don’t do the same for fellow drivers. Yes, its good to be mindful of safety, but don’t be the one who obsesses over a check engine light, or make comments of their driving habits-chances are, they may refuse to give you a lift next time!

2. Eyes on the road: If you’ve got the coveted passenger seat, you need to be a good co-pilot. Be a friend and look around for obstructions, vehicles which are hard to see (usually when reversing on taking a turn) and assist in navigating them when youre travelling to a new destination.

Going in a group? Be helpful, and not a hindrance to your driver. Image credit: RMIT

3. Offer to take the wheel on long trips: If you are going anywhere on holiday, it can be very tiring for drivers who need to travel for many hours a day. If you’re going together, offer to swap positions so that your friend can rest while you take the wheel. Keep this point in mind especially at night, because everyone tends to get tired now and then. This is a win-win for everyone, as everyone arrives well rested and don’t need to worry about sleeping in a hotel

4. Minimize time on the phone: We’ve spoken about distracted driving in the past, but keep conversations on the phone to a minimum, this is because when youre talking loudly on the phone, the driver has to focus more in and keep their attention, so be a good passenger and stay away from the phone as much as possible.

Whether you’re a driver or passenger, keep your time on the phone away when driving

5. Going in a group? Keep an eye out and behave: More people in the car means that there is a higher likelihood of distracted driving, which can lead to accidents as the driver may end up going too fast, go into the wrong lane, miss a turn or simply not see obstacles in front of them. Feel free to have fun, but if the driver insists to keep the music down, make sure that you comply with their request.

6. Don’t take too long: If a friend offers to pick you up; it is your responsibility to be ready on time. Respect their time by making sure that you’re ready. If you’re not, give them a heads up by letting them know in advance.

Are you a good passenger? Tell us your favorite tip from this list in the comments below!

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.

Attention! This car is powered by human brainwaves

Pay Attention

The Royal Automobile Club (RAC) of Western Australia has introduced the worlds first Attention powered car. Did you pay attention to the announcement?

Attention powered car
Image credit: RAC

How it works

Using brainwaves, the driver wears a headset while driving. The headset measures brain activity in real-time and monitors if the driver is focused by measuring the following criteria; engagement, excitement, fatigue, head movement rate and distraction. If the driver loses focus due to say, a sudden text message on their mobile phone and tries to take a sneak peek,  the device will detect that the driver has lost focus, and ‘reacts’ by slowing down the vehicle. As discussed earlier,  hands free technology doesn’t help minimize risk, so going along this particular route may be a step in the right direction.

The Headset. Image Credit: CNET

The Car slows down if at least one of these 3 things happen:

1. You switch tasks. i.e. your attention goes from the road to the radio.2. Your neural activity dips, or your blink and eye scan rate slows significantly i.e. you’re zoning out or fatigued.

3. The in-built Gyroscope detects that you’ve significantly turned your head away from the road.

International appeal?

Just like Sri Lanka, road safety is an issue around the world, with inattentive driving causing upto 12% of all motor accidents in Western Australia. Granted, the vehicle doesn’t look to be something which average motorists would buy-its highly unlikely that motorists would be inclined to wear a headset every time they go behind the wheel. Its a great tool to fight driver distraction but the results of these findings could be implemented in another way, say by creating an alarm which alerts motorists that they aren’t paying attention.

We are very excited about this technology. However, we want your thoughts. Tell us what you think in the comments!

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.


Find out More: Inattention, For The Better. [Accessed 13th November 2014].

Find out More: RAC’s Attention Powered Car, For The Better. [Accessed 13th November 2014].