Car passengers so often bear the brunt of bad driving – not only because they face serious injury in car accidents, but driving with an angry or inattentive driver can be a terrifying and stressful experience.

The type of car you drive can also have an impact on passenger safety and comfort – some car specs are designed to give drivers a pleasurable experience, but sitting in the passenger seat can mean white knuckles and heart palpitations for passengers, or even back or whiplash injuries.

Learn how to keep your passengers safe and well – as well as happy – with our top tips for carrying car passengers.

  • Choose your car carefully if you are going to be carrying passengers, as car designs can make driving a bumpy ride for passengers.
    • Six cylinder engines are smoother than four
    • Hybrid cars can match comfort with economy
    • Low floors and long wheelbases offer more legroom
    • Thick tread tyres are better – thin tread can mean a bumpy ride
    • Shock absorbers need to be checked and replaced regularly
    • Check comfort of passenger seats – back injuries can occur if the seat does not support the back.
  • Drive smoothly – car passengers can easily develop car sickness and headaches or back pain if you give full rein to your inner rally driver and use fast acceleration, rapid and clunky gear changes, emergency stops and corner on two wheels with screeching tyres – this may be fun for you as the driver, but your car passenger will not be impressed and neither will the local police.
  • Automatics generally offer a smoother ride.
  • Please your car passengers by fitting high-spec seatbelts, which are effective and comfortable.
  • Tinted windows protect eyesight in bright weather conditions.
  • Effective headlights can also help you drive more smoothly at night and in poor weather conditions like fog – and can be reassuring to passengers, who like to see where they are going and have confidence in the driver.
  • Taking an advanced driving course is also a good idea, as these can help you tackle all-weather traffic conditions such as black ice and poor visibility.
  • Don’t blast your car passenger with your favourite music, as the rhythm can affect heartbeat and can cause stress – if you wonder why your other half is tetchy in the car, it could be that thumping bass line.
  • Also remember that at left junctions it is the passenger who is often critically injured if you pull out in front of another driver turning into your lane – side impact road traffic accidents can kill or maim passengers, so drive extra carefully if you are carrying passengers.
  • Do not break the speed limit or deliberately drive over uneven road surfaces or speed bumps because you are annoyed or to show off – your passenger could literally hit the roof and sustain a brain injury.

Finally, long car journeys can be a joy – take maps or use GPS to navigate and pack a flask of coffee and some snacks in case you get stuck in traffic and become tired.

Always stop for a break if you feel tired – you owe it to your car passenger to get them there safely and in comfort.

Ensure you receive expert Road Car Accident Advice from a specialist solicitor who knows the law inside out.