My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Twenty giveaway indicators of a backseat driver

Almost 31 per cent of drivers from Wales have ended up having an argument due to backseat driving, with 25 per cent almost missing their turning due to passenger distraction, according to a recent survey carried out by Accident Advice Helpline, one of the UK’s top injury claim specialists.

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 56 per cent of respondents in Wales 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 signs of a typical ‘backseat driver’.

David Carter, spokesman for Accident Advice Helpline, who carried out the research via OnePoll.com 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.”

Researchers found nagging partners are the biggest backseat drivers, followed by mum and then dad in Wales. While the top 20 list of annoyances include getting road rage on the driver’s behalf, holding 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 18 per cent of motorists from Wales 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 Satnav