NEWS Garth Rattray | Can Passenger Negligence Cause Accidents? | comment

Garth Rattray | Can Passenger Negligence Cause Accidents? | comment

I’m tired of hearing, reading and seeing [unnecessary] Carnage on our roads. The sight of vehicles wrecked beyond recognition, and human bodies severely injured and/or dead, lying inside the vehicle and/or scattered around the scene of the accident, has become commonplace. This is especially true at this time of year.

Every time a disaster like this happens, I wonder what the people in the car were doing before the horrific crash. When reporting a car accident, the first question insurance companies used to ask on the car accident report form was, “Did you honk?” Doing nothing in front of you could be considered a joint negligence.

I also remember my mother recalling a time, long before I was born, when she was on a country bus and the driver drove too fast at her. She tells him to slow down, but the other passengers are silently “enjoying” the ride, so the driver dares to threaten to drop her off in the middle of nowhere.

The last time I rented a car from Norman Manley International Airport to pick up my wife and I, it was obvious the driver was trying to drop us off at our destination and hurry back to collect the fare. As soon as he started to speed up and tailgate the car in front of us, I turned around and said in the sternest voice and look I could, “Boss, I’m in no hurry!” That was all he needed to get the message. He slowed down, and the rest of the journey was comfortable and peaceful.

each is precious

Every passenger in any vehicle has the right to be driven with the utmost care. Passengers are not inanimate cargo; each one is precious. They are people who live a regular life with relatives, family and friends. However, I would venture to say that many PPV drivers treat their passengers as if they just need to get rid of the fare as soon as possible in order to get more fare. As a result, some drivers are speeding, breaking all road laws, endangering other road users, and generally wreaking havoc on our roads. And, sadly, many private car drivers have started imitating taxi drivers, as they have noticed that most taxi drivers are happy to ignore all traffic laws.

It is shocking how many passengers are in such a rush to get where they want to go and are so happy to enjoy the happy ride of ignoring all other drivers while providing them with such a dangerous thrill that they are putting themselves at significant risk by an idiot behind the wheel . Their inaction in the face of dangerous driving resulted in the crash. In fact, some riders are complicit as they egg on crazy drivers and silence complainers. Other passengers are timid or afraid to speak up when they feel in danger. The combination of speeding, “bad” driving, showing off and submissive, submissive, impatient passengers can sometimes lead to crashes and horrific carnage.

Passengers who remain silent, when drivers behave badly and may be dangerous, it should be considered contributory negligence if they file a claim with the insurance company, the insurance company will not cover you when you drive a racing car on the track, although It is safer to use public transport than the track.

joint negligence

Contributory fault is “the common law doctrine that if a person is injured in part through his/her own fault (his/her fault “contributed” to the accident)”. So I wonder why insurance companies don’t ask injured passengers and/or witnesses, which victims speak up when the operator breaks the law or drives in a way that clearly puts everyone at risk of injury or death.

Insurers paid out nearly $14.8 billion in motor vehicle-related claims in 2021, almost 1,700 times more than claims in the “all other” category. Such a huge outlay associated with a motor vehicle must be extremely daunting for a company that offers auto insurance.

The casualties of our citizens are emotionally, socially and economically distressing. The Ministry of Health is unable to provide data on the cost of care for victims of motor vehicle accidents. However, the numbers must be staggering from first aid to investigation, intervention, surgery, physical therapy and the follow-up required for so many traumatic accidents. In addition to devoting scarce funds to trauma that is almost entirely preventable, it is necessary to allocate skilled paramedics, operating theaters and hospital beds to treat crash victims. These deprive other patients, including cancer patients, of the care they receive.

I don’t think that increasing traffic fines will significantly reduce crashes and save lives; therefore, in addition to stricter policing, innovative strategies for apprehending offenders, and re-educating bad drivers, we need to teach “right of use of the road” early and early in all schools “. In addition, the reach and reach of the media, including social media, should be heavily used to educate and reinforce compliance with traffic laws.

Garth A. Rattray is a family physician. Send feedback to and

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