Empowering Voices for Safety: Passenger Safety Week 2024

A passenger and a driver are wearing seatbelts and smiling from the interior of a car.

January 22 – 28 is National Passenger Safety Week. Started by two organizations, We Save Lives and The National Road Safety Foundation, the awareness campaign highlights the collective responsibility we share as passengers to help ensure our well-being on the road.

Whether older adults are in the passenger or driver’s seat, they’re at a greater risk for injury and longer recovery times from automobile crashes. Although they are some of the safest drivers on the road, the frailty and fragility that come along with aging put them in a more vulnerable position wherever they sit in the car.

The aging process can impact various aspects of a person's ability to drive safely. Reduced reaction times, diminished vision, and potential cognitive decline are factors that may impact the safety of both the driver and others on the road. ChORUS encourages a proactive approach to safety, emphasizing the importance of passengers speaking up when they notice signs of unsafe driving in older individuals.

One of the toughest challenges in addressing this issue is overcoming the reluctance to intervene, especially when the driver in question is a friend or family member. However, Passenger Safety Week reminds us that safety should always be the top priority. A supportive and empathetic conversation can make a significant difference. Expressing concern for the driver's well-being and suggesting alternatives such as carpooling, public transportation, or even a joint visit to the doctor can be positive ways to start the conversation.

By nurturing open communication, passengers become partners in promoting road safety. It's not about questioning the older driver's capabilities, but helping everyone on the road remain safe. Older drivers often have decades of experience behind the wheel. From the passenger seat, they can offer the wisdom and lessons they have learned to the young adults in their lives who are just starting to drive. Road safety is a shared responsibility.

Passenger Safety Week encourages us to recognize the influence we hold as passengers to positively influence the driving habits of our loved ones. Through empathy, understanding, and a commitment to safety, we can collectively contribute to road safety from the passenger and the driver’s seats.

Learn more about Passenger Safety Week.

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