IRVING, Texas, Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- With more than 40 percent of survey respondents planning to hit the highways as passengers this holiday season, Allstate Insurance Company hopes to empower tongue-tied Texans to speak up when a driver is being unsafe with its new Passenger Anxiety Survey. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT), passengers make up about 30% of all fatalities and serious injuries in car accidents on Texas roads.
According to the Allstate Passenger Anxiety Survey, spouses are the most outspoken passengers on Texas roads when it comes to safety. An overwhelming 90 percent of survey respondents said they would most likely speak up if their spouse's driving was making them nervous. Passengers were least likely to say something to their boss, a stranger or their parent if their driving made them uneasy.
Passenger Anxiety Survey Key FindingsMore than a third (35%) of respondents in the Passenger Anxiety Survey said a driver being distracted—texting, talking on cell phones, eating—made them the most concerned, followed by speeding (27%) and reckless driving (25%).
Forty-three percent of respondents said they've been a passenger in a car that was pulled over by police.Despite these findings, more than a third (35%) of all respondents said they've never actually spoken up when they felt unsafe, regardless of whom the driver was.
"As a passenger, your life is literally in a driver's hands," said Melissa Fleming, an Allstate agent in Austin. "If a driver is breaking the law or driving in a way that concerns you, it's okay to politely speak up." Passenger EmpowermentAllstate offers the following safe driving tips for passengers and drivers to consider:
- Ask them to put the phone down: Driver distraction contributes to nearly 20 percent of all police-reported traffic crashes, and in 2010, nearly 3,100 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If you are in a car with a driver who's more focused on texting, eating, putting on make-up, or playing with the radio, ask them to stop. You can also offer to send a text or make a phone call for that driver.
- Tell them to slow down: Speeding is also a leading cause of car crashes. According to TXDOT data, more than 130,000 people have been injured or killed in accidents involving speeding vehicles on Texas roads over the past five years. Ask a speeding driver to slow down.
- Go from backseat driver to the designated driver: If a driver is being aggressive, reckless or is intoxicated, offer to drive yourself or find alternative transportation. NHTSA recommends that people should always plan ahead and designate a sober driver, call a cab, or use public transportation if a driver has been drinking alcohol.