How To Spot A Backseat Driver

Mon 25th Jun 2018

Are you a backseat driver? Do you travel frequently with one? Perhaps you don’t know you are one. Well now research has revealed what are the most obvious signs of backseat driving.

Accident Advice Helpline has polled drivers across the UK to discover the most annoying traits of backseat drivers and it is no surprise that the No.1 sure sign is a passenger criticising a driver’s decision behind the wheel.

In the survey of more than 2,000 drivers, seven in 10 said there is nothing more annoying than an interfering passenger. A huge 68% of those polled said they hate being criticised for their decisions behind the wheel. Other annoyances include passengers complaining their speed is too fast (51%), passengers gasping loudly at any slight breaking movement (45%), 44% flinching when close to another vehicle and passengers complaining that the speed is too low (37%).

“You usually find backseat drivers are the people who would prefer to be in control of the car, rather than sitting in as a passenger,” said David Carter from Accident Advice Helpline.

“And if you’re someone who drives on a daily basis, it can be really hard to switch off and let someone else take control.

“Unfortunately, making comments and reacting to what is happening on the road while in the passenger seat can be a big distraction for the person driving.

“There is a higher risk of an accident or near-miss if the driver is having to fend off unhelpful feedback while trying to concentrate on the road.”

The research found that nagging partners are the most common backseat drivers, followed by mum and dad.


Top 20 signs of a backseat driver

  1. Criticising the driver’s decisions behind the wheel

  2. Complaining about the speed being too fast

  3. Gasping loudly at any slight braking movement

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

  5. Complaining about the speed being too low

  6. Saying when is a good time to leave a junction

  7. Pressing the imaginary brake

  8. You can’t help but advise on which lane the car should be in

  9. You tell the driver when the traffic lights have changed to green

  10. You insist on giving directions

  11. Interfering with the music

  12. Swearing at other road users

  13. Gesticulating at other road users

  14. Getting road rage on the driver’s behalf and swearing at other drivers

  15. Waving ‘thanks’ at other drivers for letting you out

  16. You read out the road signs as you pass them

  17. Changing the heating levels

  18. You hold your hands over your face

  19. You close your eyes frequently when someone else is driving

  20. You disagree with Satnav

Think you might be backseat driver? Isn't it time you got behind the wheel yourself? Why not get a new motor from and show others how to drive the best.