Are You a Backseat Driver?

Do you find yourself stamping on an imaginary brake pedal with enough force to put a dent in the passenger side footwell? Do you engage in acts of road rage on your driver’s behalf? If you answered yes then you’re a backseat driver. If you answered no then you might still be. The list of backseat driving offenses is long. 

According to a recent survey of 2000 drivers by “Accident Advice Helpline” in the UK, 7 out of 10 drivers think there is nothing more annoying than a passenger who constantly displays exaggerated emotion towards their driving or offers unwanted help or advice.

Whilst it’s annoying it can also be dangerous according to the survey’s authors. All this advice, flinching and meddling can be distracting which can, and does, result in accidents.

Now you may think you’re being helpful when you tell your driver to make the next turn or what lane to be in (often in an area they know well) or pointing out broken road rules or leaning over casually to check the speedo, but you’re probably not. You are more likely to be throwing them off their game.

Interestingly, while 70% of the surveyed drivers found backseat drivers annoying, only 21% admitted to being a backseat driver themselves suggesting a possible lack of self-awareness. 

Some of the key symptoms of a chronic backseat driver are:

1. Criticizing the driver's decisions

2. Complaining about the driver going too fast or too slow

3. Gasping loudly at any slight braking

4. Flinching when they feel the driver is too close to another vehicle

5. Pressing an imaginary brake pedal

6. Advising on which lane the driver should be in

7. Telling the driver when the traffic lights have changed to green

8. Insisting on giving directions

9. Interfering with the music or heater controls

10. road-raging on the driver's behalf 

11. Disagreeing with Google Maps

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