Back Seat Driver

Are you a back seat driver? Here are the warning signs

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Would you prefer to be in control of the vehicle than sit in the passenger seat? Do you stamp on an imaginary brake pedal or make loud involuntary noises? Then you’re definitely a back seat driver according to new research.

A new study of over 2,000 motorists shows that 70% of us think there’s nothing more annoying than having a back seat driver in the car. Offering unwanted advice, flinching when we make a manoeuvre and generally knowing better than the driver are all guaranteed to irritate those who are actually behind the wheel.

Of course it can be hard to switch off when you find yourself in the driving seat, but clutching your head in your hands or throwing a fit of road rage on the driver’s behalf won’t go down well.

Unhelpful feedback

The number one culprits turn out to be partners, followed by mum and then dad. And although we often joke about the phenomenon of back seat drivers, their nagging can have a downside. In fact, the survey found that just under 50% of respondents had got into an argument while 5% have jumped a red light.

A quarter of those surveyed had been distracted and missed their turning, while for 7% the consequences had been more serious, ending in a collision with a cyclist, pedestrian or another car.

The tell-tale signs

So what are the giveaway signs that you have a back seat driver in your car? Do they say thanks on your behalf to other drivers? Or do they let fly with a stream of expletives when you’re cut up in traffic? Then you definitely have a back seat driver on your hands.

Other sure signs are reading out road signs, criticising your driving decisions and arguing with the sat nav. While it’s hard to give up control, a back seat driver can be a serious distraction.

In fact, it seems we dislike back seat drivers so much that only 21% of us will admit to pointing out the right junction, telling a driver the lights have gone green or flinching when they turn a corner when we’re in the passenger seat.

Want to distract your annoying back seat driver? Give them a task. Give them the official job of navigating or choosing the in-car entertainment and you’ll soon find they leave you to get on with the job of driving.

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