Are you a backseat driver? Here are the top 20 signs that you are

Over 25 per cent of drivers in the North West have ended up having an argument due to backseat driving and 26 per cent missed their turning due to passenger distraction, according to a recent survey carried out by Accident Advice Helpline.

Thursday, 11th October 2018, 10:36 am
Updated Thursday, 11th October 2018, 11:13 am
Are you a backseat driver? Here are the top 20 signs that you are

Criticising the driver’s decisions, flinching when they appear to drive too close to the car in front and commenting when it is time to leave the junction only serve to irritate those at the wheel, with over 47 per cent of respondents in the North West confirming that there is nothing more annoying than driving with an interfering passenger.

Gasping loudly when the driver brakes, complaining about speed and stamping on an imaginary brake are all characteristics displayed by a typical ‘backseat driver’.

David Carter, spokesman for Accident Advice Helpline, who carried out the research via said: “If you are someone who drives regularly, it can be really hard to switch off and let someone else take control of the wheel. 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, and you could be contributing to increasing the risk of an accident or near-miss.”

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Researchers found nagging partners are the biggest backseat drivers, followed by mum and then dad in the North West. The top 20 list of annoyances include getting road rage on the driver’s behalf, holding your hands over your face and insisting on giving directions – even if they are not needed.

Other characteristics of a backseat driver, and likely to cause a near-miss, include advising on which lane the car should be in, and telling the driver when to move at the traffic lights.

Only 12 per cent of motorists in the North West admitted that THEY are backseat drivers when travelling in someone else’s car.


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. Advising on which lane the car should be in

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

10. Insisting 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. Reading out the road signs as you pass them

17. Changing the heating levels

18. Holding your hands over your face

19. Closing your eyes frequently when someone else is driving

20. Disagreeing with the Satnav