Motorists driven mad by pests in back seat
PASSENGERS are driving those behind the wheel around the bend to such an extent that many motorists would rather travel alone, research reveals.
They prefer their own company to avoid the backseat passengers, know-it-alls, road ragers, fidgeters, drones and snorers that seem to populate so many of our cars.
The research, by Continental Tyres, discovered that the average driver gets annoyed at least three times by their passengers' behaviour during the typical journey. The researchers found it took just six minutes for the driver's blood to boil.
On occasion, the research found, tempers have flared to such an extent that as many as one in five drivers has asked a passenger to get out of the car.
The 'Backseat Driver' is easily the most unpopular passenger (25pc) in the eyes of the driver. Unable to keep hands, feet or thoughts to themselves, their main characteristics are: 'braking hard' before every junction, thumping the dashboard in panic (obviously not from the back seat), and commenting on every turn.
Of the 4,000 driver opinions studied by the researchers, one in 10 fell into the 'Fiddler' category -- those bored who "twiddle with buttons and air con and switch radio stations".
Drunken friends, partners and mothers were also named as being among the worst with whom to share a journey.
Other dreaded journey companions include:
- 'The Sleeper' -- Nods off within minutes, snores, and only wakes up when they arrive at their destination.
- 'The Road Rager' -- Embarrasses the driver with their fiery temper, cursing and swearing at other drivers and making rude hand gestures.
- 'The Leaker' -- Needs the toilet every 20 minutes and requires a service station break.
- 'The Know-It-All' -- Keeps correcting the radio, or the sat nav, or the driver.
- 'The Drone' -- Incessantly chats about everything that the driver finds boring.
- 'The Airhead' -- Insists on the windows being kept down, the air conditioning being kept on, and their head stuck out to 'get a bit of fresh air'.
- 'The Crooner' -- Can't sing but belts out every song they recognise on the radio.
Continental safety expert Tim Bailey said: "It is worrying that so many motorists are irritated to such extremes by their passengers.
"Driving is the time we need to be most alert, so a distraction such as an annoying passenger is likely to mean a driver losing concentration.
"We would suggest calmly letting the passenger know that what they are doing is distracting you, trying to calm down and most importantly, focusing on the road ahead."