We all have a few peeves when it comes to driving with people. During the festive season it is almost impossible to be driving around alone. It’s either the kids, talkative family members or your best buds sitting right next to you on those long trips.

My personal biggest irritation is a backseat driver. Now, for those of you who don’t know what that is, you might want to listen up. I’m sure as you read through this, a person you know face might pop into mind.

A back-seat driver is a passenger who is not driving but continuously makes comments and remarks to try control the driver and their actions.  In simple terms, they basically “drive” from the passenger seat. We all know how annoying and distracting this can be. They are either telling you what route to take, what speed to drive at or even try stomping their ‘imaginary brake pedal” each time you brake.

Now in my experience, the people who do this are not the best drivers themselves but seem to become Driver of The Year the minute they get into your passenger seat. Now in my car, this usually turns into a big argument. Not only does backseat driving annoy me, but it is also quite dangerous. As a driver I always make sure I am concentrating on the road at all times, now having someone screaming orders and directions at me puts me off completely.

A drive can get quite uncomfortable so here are a few methods you can try to deal with a backseat driver:

  • Don’t drive recklessly- if you stick to the rules of the road and all the speed limits then the person will have less to comment about during the drive.
  • Inform them of the risks- let the passenger know that their shouting out instructions is dangerous and messes with your concentration.
  • Kindly ask them to stop- you could just calmly let the person know that you appreciate their “help” but would prefer it if they didn’t.
  • Play music- This will hopefully force them to be quiet and rather listen or sing along to the music.

And if all else fails, just avoid driving with the person all together.

If after reading this you still can’t think of at least one backseat driver that you know, chances are, you are that driver.

Happy driving!

By Noni Nchwe