The 20 most irritating signs of a backseat driver.
Most of the people who hire our cars and vans are regular drivers. They’re just hiring because their regular vehicle is off the road, otherwise engaged, or not suitable for the specific task at hand.
But some of the people who rent our vehicles do so because they don’t own their own vehicles. They’re occasional drivers, and according to a study by Accident Advice Helpline and OnePoll.com, that makes them prime targets for backseat driving by passengers who drive all the time.
The study set out to find the backseat driving habits that most irritate UK drivers. Top of the list is criticising the driver’s decisions, because nothing is more annoying than having someone in the passenger seat tell you “Ooh I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
Completing the top three are complaining that the driver is going too fast and gasping at every slightly heavy braking movement.
Here’s the top 20 in full:
1. Criticising the driver’s decisions
2. Complaining about the driver going too fast
3. Gasping loudly at any slight braking movement
4. Flinching when they feel the driver is too close to another vehicle
5. Complaining about the driver going too slowly
6. Pointing out when to turn
7. Pressing an imaginary brake pedal
8. Advising on the ‘correct’ lane to be in
9. Pointing out that traffic lights have changed to green
10. Giving unwanted directions
11. Interfering with the music
12. Swearing at other cars’ drivers
13. Gesticulating at other road users
14. Getting road rage on the driver’s behalf
15. Waving ‘thanks’ at other drivers for letting you out
16. Reading road signs out loud
17. Changing the in-car temperature
18. Placing their hands over their face
19. Closing their eyes frequently when someone else is driving
20. Disagreeing with satnav
Some of these do feel rather petty. We’ve never been particularly irked by a passenger waving ‘thanks’ to another driver for letting us out – especially if they’re better placed to dos so. But whether it’s a hire car or your own car, if you’re in a vehicle with another driver, you’re likely to face backseat driving at some point. According to the survey, partners are the worst culprits, followed by parents, yet only 21% of motorists admit to being a backseat driver themselves.
There is a serious side to the report though. 5% of those surveyed admitted to jumping a red light whilst dealing with a backseat driver, and by distracting your attention from the road, a backseat driver can increase the risks of a collision.
As David Carter, spokesman for Accident Advice Helpline said, “We can all recognise the signs of back-seat driving and should be more aware of their impact on driver’s emotions and levels of concentration.”
So next time you’re in one of our rental vehicles as a passenger, try leaving the driving to the driver.