Back seat drivers are causing more than a distraction for motorists, they're costing us £500 to repair accidental damage.
New research from car insurance expert Confused.com, has revealed the true cost of giving friends and families a ride home. Two thirds of British motorists have been victims of unwanted attention from self-appointed back seat drivers, and almost 1 in 4 of us have been in an accident whilst dealing with the distractions of other passengers.
These distractions means that, 20 per cent of British motorists will have to fork out up to £500 to repair accidental damages ‘caused’ by back seat drivers in their driving life.
The good, the bad and the ugly
The research also reveals that the worst backseat pests are bus drivers, train drivers and delivery men who obviously forget that they’re off duty. On the other hand, teachers are the most patient of passengers and put up with the driver’s bad habits.
When it comes to family life, most of us confess that we would rather journey with our colleagues than our loved ones. This is because our partners are the worst backseat drivers, with husbands and boyfriends disrupting thedriver most often and 45 per cent of them voicing their traffic-tips several times during the shortest of journeys.
Particularly bad at knowing when to keep quiet are our parents who feature second on the list of frequent offenders when it comes to interfering from the back seat.
Hyacinth Bucket rides again
The most popular gestures – as inspired by the original back seat driver, Hyacinth Bucket – include the terrified grip-tightening on the door handle; the not-so-subtle glance at the speedometer, or the favourite of partners and parents across the country – the imaginary brake pedal push.
‘Gems’ like “Watch the cyclist!”, “Watch the (parked) lorry!” and “Aren’t you going too fast…?” are among the most commonly used comments, and are frequently accompanied by a host of back seat-body language giveaways.
Stereotypes stand strong against women and elderly
When it comes to the world of motoring, Confused.com reveals that unfortunately, stereotypes are surviving, with women and the elderly being the most likely to suffer from backseat bad manners. Over two thirds of women, and a shocking 70 per cent of drivers over the age of 55 find themselves on the receiving end of this bad etiquette – especially patronising are comments about the speed of the car or their proximity to other cars.
Gareth Kloet, Head of Car Insurance at Confused.com, says: “As motoring costs continue to rise at a meteoric rate, it’s never been more important for drivers to keep their costs as low as possible. Our research shows that having other people in the car can distract us from the road, and lead to accidents which in turn increases the cost of our car insurance policies.”
Debrett’s spokesperson, Jo Bryant, added: “If you're a passenger in someone else's car, your behaviour must be polite at all times, just as it would be if you were visiting their home. The Etiquette Guide for Back Seat drivers will ensure that every journey is courteous and civilised.”