(WHTM) — Passengers can make huge difference in reducing the number of devastating traffic crashes by simply speaking up when they are in a vehicle that is being driven unsafely.

This doesn’t just pertain to speaking up when you are using a rideshare app. Passengers should speak up when friends and family are behind the wheel as well.

Driving under the influence is extremely dangerous, but that isn’t the only risky way to drive.

The National Road Safety Foundation, a nonprofit that was founded over 60 years ago, says as a passenger you should intervene if you’re in a car with a driver who is exhibiting or performing the following behavior behind the wheel:

  • Speeding
  • Being overly aggressive
  • Tailgating
  • Exhibiting extreme tiredness

If you combine any of those circumstances with winter weather, the risks are enhanced.

Michelle Anderson, the Director of Operations at the National Road Safety Foundation, provided information on how important it is to use your voice as a passenger in the vehicle.

“In the state of Pennsylvania, there were approximately 1,230 traffic fatalities in 2021 and that was up 9% from the previous year. So obviously there are a lot of people on our roads that are not practicing safe driving. And again, the passenger, you do play a huge role while in the vehicle, whether it’s an uber or a vehicle with someone you know. You play a huge role. You need to be observing what’s going on the road as well as the driver. Don’t just leave it up to the driver,” said Anderson.

Anderson said that it’s also important to be tactful when you are raising your concern with the driver. If the driver is tired and thinks caffeine is the answer, it can take about 10 to 30 minutes for it to enter our system and raise our alertness. At that time an accident could still occur, so it is best to pull over and wait until the caffeine kicks in.