What Responsibilities Will Copilots Have?

in Driver

A couple of weeks ago, the Automobile Safety Foundation announced that it was planning to launch a program that is intended to reduce the number of car accidents caused by distracted driving. Since distracted driving is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle deaths in the United States, and younger drivers are particularly prone to distractions while driving, this program is aimed towards teens holding a learner's permit, who need to get familiar with the dangers of distracted driving and learn everything they need to know about road concentration. According to this program, teens will have to obtain a copilot drivers license and hold it for a year, before they can apply for a regular driver's license. This way, learner drivers will get the necessary experience and see what a driver has to do in order to stay focused on the road.

When you receive your copilot license, you accept certain responsibilities and agree to take some actions while you are sitting in the passenger seat. For one thing, you agree to collaborate with the driver in efforts to maintain road concentration, as well as safety vigilance. This means that you have to be vigil at all times and be aware of the conditions on the road and warn the driver of any potential dangers that might jeopardize your safety. Furthermore, you are responsible for helping the driver avoid all sorts of distractions, such as adjusting certain devices in the car, or other technical matters, as well as giving assistance during parking or lane changes. If the driver needs to use the GPS, adjust the car stereo, or the car's air conditioning, you should do that instead of them, so that they can keep their hands on the steering wheel and their eyes on the road.

In addition to that, whenever you notice that there is a risk of getting into an accident, you should alert the driver, but try and do it in the calmest way possible, without hand waving, or making loud noises, which can be an additional distraction.

Finally, you have to be able to observe the driver's behavior and disposition, so that you can notice signs of fatigue, drowsiness, or lack of focus, and warn the driver that it's time to stop driving and take a break.

To sum up, a copilot is not merely a passenger with no responsibilities, but someone who is supposed to help the driver avoid distractions and do their best to learn the importance of road concentration.

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Jordan Perch has 45 articles online

By Jordan Perch, automotive researcher and blogger at DMV.com.

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What Responsibilities Will Copilots Have?

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This article was published on 2013/10/03