By H&H Admin
Many people ride with a driver who habitually texts which understandably makes them nervous; but some may be uncomfortable raising the topic. Here are some ideas about how you can begin the conversation to make your ride less nerve wrecking and more safe.
- The Direct Approach. Say, “I’m sorry, but I get really nervous when people text and drive.” Wait to see how the person responds. Most people will admit it’s probably not a good idea or they’ll at least put down the phone.
2. The Subtle Approach. If you don’t feel comfortable telling a driver to quit texting outright, try saying: “Would you like me to type for you since you’re driving?” Or you could say, “I’ve seen a lot of cops out today, you might not want to text right now.” Or point out things the driver has missed seeing by saying, “Hey, did you see that dog/kid/overturned truck?”
If you know the person your driver is texting, ask the driver to hand over the phone so you can say something. Then send a message that says, “Driving, talk to you later.”
If your driver teases you about being nervous, it’s the perfect opener to say, “Yeah, texting and driving freaks me out. You never know if the person in front or behind is doing it too.”
3. The “Wow, Look At That Bad Driver!” Approach. Point out drivers who wander into the next lane, drive erratically on the highway, run a stop sign, or stop at a green light. Then turn it into a game by taking turns to guess who they’re texting and what the text might be about.
4. The Group Approach. If you are travelling in a group and you all think the driver is a hazard, you could collectively come up with a plan together. Take away the driver’s car keys: It’s what you’re supposed to do with drunk drivers, and texting drivers are just as dangerous. Or agree not to ride with that person. If several people boycott a driver, he or she will get the message.
5. The Life-Saving Approach. If someone continues to text and drive or mocks you for worrying about it, avoid riding with that person. Let texting drivers know you’re cutting them off (if you feel comfortable doing so) — a little shame makes people think twice about bad habits.
If a driver absolutely won’t stop texting or laughs at you for being nervous, don’t argue. The last thing anyone needs is a road-raging, texting driver. Get out the car as soon as you can. Next time that driver offers to give you a ride, say, “no, thanks.”