#26 Speak up

Buckle up, buttercups! Big respect to all the co-drivers out there! Reading pace-notes at speed, strapped down in a raceseat with the next 'Ari Vatanen' at the wheel isn't for the faint-hearted.

It's as a 'co-driver' in a road car, though, that I've experienced the most fear. While rally co-drivers get to tell their driver a thing or two, often road car passengers don't speak up, even if feeling really anxious.

#26 Speak up
It's not always easy telling someone that their driving is scaring you. Especially if you don't know them well, they're your boss, or someone you fancy, you're with a group of friends who seem ok with it, you're catching a lift as a favour, or the driver is just oblivious to a risk that seems totally obvious to you!

It seems silly to be worried about social embarrassment when you're sitting there scared for your life, but too often that's what happens.

At the risk of hurting someone's pride, though, it IS better to say something, than to grit your teeth and hope for the best. Your life is in their hands. You have a right to ask them to settle down, have a rest or pay attention.

I struggle with this and I know lots of other people do too (I remember some passengers from my 'bulletproof' days kissing the ground at our destination - until then I had had no idea they were worried!)

Of course, it's best to be direct if possible: "Hey, steady on, we want to get there in one piece!"

Or if necessary: "Look, I think I'm just going to get out here. Could you please stop, thanks."

If you don't feel comfortable saying something directly, here are a few suggestions (you may have some more):

:-( "Could you please slow down, I'm not feeling well"
or in an emergency: "I think I'm going to be sick!"
:-( "I really don't mind if you look at the road while you're talking to me..."
:-( "You look tired, would you like me to drive for a bit?"
:-("How about an icecream / coffee / pie / pee stop?"
:-( "Is that a speed camera? I think there's a few around here..."
:-( "How about I type that text for you?"
:-( "Which radio station are you looking for? I could do that for you"

If they don't take the hint, you'll need to be more direct. If they still don't listen, you might just have to decide not to travel with them any more...

Buckle up, buttercups! And speak up :-)


PS - Please share my Buckle Up Buttercup tips! The more we talk about road safety and what we can do to keep ourselves and others safe – the safer our roads will be. Things that might be obvious to you might still be unknown to your friends or family.