Who's the worst backseat driver?

Jennifer Geiger


On the road, other drivers have plenty of bad habits that irritate and distract us, but what about those coming from inside the car? Among the most annoying is "advice" from other passengers, and according to an Insurance.com study, spouses make the worst backseat drivers. 

The agency polled 500 drivers, and 34% of women said their husbands are the worst backseat drivers, followed by their mothers at 18% and friends at 15%. Men responded similarly: 40% said their wives are the worst passengers, with 17% listing friends and 15% mothers.

Children were ranked fairly low on the list by both men and women, especially teens. Only 7% of respondents listed adult daughters and 4% sons. Even lower, only 3% cited teen daughters and sons.

According to Insurance.com's study, the biggest annoyances include:

  • Comments on driving speed: 47%
  • Gives directions: 29%
  • Talks too much: 19%
  • Pushes imaginary "brake" with foot: 15%
  • Fiddles with radio or CD player: 10%
  • Talks on phone or texts: 7%
  • Sings: 6%
  • Eats: 3%

Family therapist Jane Greer recommends that passengers think before they speak. "Rather than commenting on how fast or how badly someone is driving, speak to the impact it is having on you. So instead of saying, 'You're going too fast,' say, 'I'm feeling scared and unsafe, this is making me uncomfortable, please slow down,' " she said in a statement. If that doesn't work, you can always try the ejector button.