Drivers must obey the rules of the road — both written and unwritten — every time they get behind the wheel. Passengers riding in the car may assume they don’t have rules to follow. The truth, however, is that passengers are expected to obey common car etiquette, too. Are you ignoring these car rules when you’re a passenger in someone else’s vehicle?
1. Ask before changing the temperature
You’re burning up, but your driver seems perfectly comfortable. Or you’re freezing, and the driver cranks the AC. Before reaching over to change the temperature, however, you need to ask the driver! He or she may need a cooler temperature to stay awake, or they may prefer staying warm to shaking in their seat while they navigate the road. Of course, you’re in luck if the vehicle has dual climate controls.
2. Discuss expectations about eating and drinking
Some drivers cheerfully embrace eating and drinking in their vehicle. They don’t mind if their passengers do, either. On the other hand, some people are not okay with the possibility of spills. Unless you already know the driver’s expectations, save your burger and soda for later. Even if you swing by and pick up food together, ask before diving in.
3. Keep your feet where they belong
Some passengers feel cramped in cars and prop their feet up whenever they sit down. However, if you’re involved in an accident, you could break your legs or damage your body even more seriously. Plus, resting your feet on the dash is gross. Avoid hanging your feet out the window or propping them up on the back of a seat, too.
4. Don’t backseat drive
There’s a difference between criticizing someone’s driving and requesting a safe journey to your destination. If your driver is putting you in harm’s way and you truly feel like your safety is compromised, then you should absolutely speak up.
As a passenger, however, you need to refrain from excessive comments about not-so-dangerous driving situations. Few things are more frustrating than a passenger judging your every move.
5. Avoid distracting the driver
When you’re riding down the road with a friend, it’s tempting to share a great joke or meme on your phone or pass over a picture. When you’re in the car with many people, you may engage in louder conversations or even horsing around. These behaviors can quickly distract the driver and increase the risk of an accident.