Are You a Backseat Driver? Here are the Signs

Some people make very bad passengers; they would certainly prefer it if they were the driver and get the nickname backseat drivers because they interfere or make comments about the driver's technique and safety. We have all been in a car with a backseat driver, and some common warning signs include trying to press an imaginary break or tutting and sighing when the driver makes certain actions.

Unwanted Help

It can be incredibly frustrating to have a passenger who considers themselves a backseat driver, and recently over 2000 motorists gave their opinion, with 7 out of 10 saying that it is seriously unhelpful and stressful to be in this situation. Some people feel that these gestures are a little bit easier to deal with than the backseat driver who just can't help but verbalise their desire to be in control. Another annoyance that backseat drivers seem to have in common is that they flinch if they think the driver has got too close to a car when braking. How about the backseat driver who feels the need to warn you that a turning is coming up even when you are fully aware of it?

Unconscious Response

Some backseat drivers will argue that their responses are completely subconscious and out of their control. If somebody drives on a daily basis but for some reason has to rely on someone else to take them, for example, because they are injured or their car has broken down, it can be difficult to remember that they are not in the driving seat. If you have a tendency to be a backseat driver, you do need to try and check your behaviour as you can be creating stress and distracting the person actually in control. This can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy and cause an accident that would not have happened if you weren't trying to take over.

A Cause for Divorce?

The most reported backseat drivers came in the form of a spouse or partner. Parents came next, and around 50% of those who completed the survey said that it had caused an argument between them because the backseat driver was interfering. The stress of backseat driving had upset 5% of survey respondents so much, but they had inadvertently jumped a red light which, of course, made things much worse.Backseat driving has also caused the real driver to miss a turning, get into the wrong lane, and in the worst cases, lead to a collision with another vehicle, pedestrian a cyclist. Thinking you are being helpful can also be a distraction to the driver; this includes changing the satnav, fiddling with the air-conditioning, thanking other drivers or offering an all-clear when trying to pull out at a junction. It is really important to remember that the best way to be a passenger is to keep entirely quiet about the way the driver is performing unless they ask for help or input.