Road trips have become a staple way of travel for many people. Many people take road trips since it is the most accessible mode of transportation. Others also love having the freedom to stop and appreciate the places they pass through.
These road trips are increasingly getting more popular among Americans. A survey reported in 2019 that there was an increase of around 64% in respondents who have taken a road trip. Also, the survey shed light on more people intending to go on a road trip in the following 12 months.
Road Trips Aren’t Exactly Comfortable
Indeed, road trips can be liberating and exciting. But despite this continuous popularity, it’s hard to vouch that these road trips are the most comfortable. Planning road trips take an immense amount of preparation. Going through the actual trip isn’t any better either.
This is mainly because road trips take a long time to complete. They generally consist of long periods of doing nothing else but sitting inside a vehicle and driving. While these trips are exhausting for everyone, they are most draining for drivers.
Drivers often have the biggest responsibility when it comes to road trips. They are entrusted with the safety of every single person in the vehicle during the journey. While passengers get to relax with their neck pillows and electric body massagers during the trip, drivers often stay up and drive for a long duration of time.
Also, assigned drivers have to be perpetually aware of their surroundings. They have the responsibility of navigating through unfamiliar territory successfully. These responsibilities can sometimes be too much for a single person to handle.
The Crucial Role of the Front-seat Passenger
The front seat is often coveted among passengers during road trips. This is because the front seat is arguably the most spacious and comfortable passenger seat. But occupying this seat during road trips comes with a small price.
Since drivers are overworked with their responsibilities, passengers seated next to the driver should aid the driver with these responsibilities. This cooperation between drivers and passengers is not a new thing. When people travelled in stagecoaches, drivers outside the coach would have a companion armed with a shotgun to fend off bandits and wild animals.
This cooperation lives on to this day. But some people may not know exactly what these unspoken duties are. What should a front-seat passenger do to help the driver on these road trips?
Being the Road Trip Sidekick
One of the biggest duties a front-seat passenger has is to help with navigation. Even though maps are available on the internet, and most cars have GPS navigation systems, travellers can still get lost during road trips. Navigating through unfamiliar areas can still be challenging, even with these advanced tools.
With that, every front-seat passenger should be ready to help the driver with their navigation needs. Also, when drivers get lost, they cannot immediately access the navigation tools and systems without stopping. To speed up this process, front-seat passengers can do it for them. They can even instruct the drivers on what roads to take to make travel easier.
Boredom is the main enemy of every driver. This isn’t an inherent problem since boredom is not something that makes it hard for drivers to do their job. It only becomes a problem because it makes drivers incredibly drowsy.
Drowsy driving is essentially a risk to both drivers and passengers. When a person is sleepy, their senses are not sharpened, and their body functions may be compromised. Each year, around 100,000 road accidents are linked to drowsy driving. With that, drivers should never risk driving while feeling sleepy.
Front-seat passengers have to take on the responsibility of ensuring the drivers stay awake. One of the simplest methods to achieve this is to converse with them. This may not sound much, but talking to another person can help anyone stay awake.
If conversations are not enough, they can entertain themselves with music and games. This can help drivers avoid drowsiness. Of course, front-seat passengers should still be cautious about interacting with drivers. Distracted driving is as unsafe as drowsy driving.
Front-seat passengers are essentially in charge of taking care of the drivers’ general needs. Drivers have limited capacity to do anything else when driving. Front-seat passengers should be ready when the driver asks for something.
Being in the front seat during road trips has its perks. People have no one to share their space with, there is more legroom, and they can feel the coolness of the air conditioner. But if people want to experience these travel perks, they need to be prepared to do their duties.