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We can't help being back-seat drivers

MORE than half of all motorists cannot resist offering "advice" to learner drivers despite it being dangerous and distracting to people behind the wheel.

A survey by the AA found that 60pc of motorists simply cannot hold their tongues when travelling with new drivers, and women are more inclined to offer advice than men.

In a bid to highlight the dangers of supposedly constructive criticism, AA Motor Insurance found that 60pc of 14,000 motorists polled couldn't resist offering advice to drivers they classified as inexperienced.

Of those who said they were married or in a relationship, almost half (47pc) admitted to commenting on their partner's driving skills, with women marginally more likely to do so.

"Learners and new drivers are undoubtedly on a steep learning curve and it's instinctive for those with more experience to fall into the role of tutor," AA director John Farrell said.

"However, it is important to find the right balance between helping them learn in a comfortable environment and being disruptive to someone who needs to pour their full concentration into the task at hand.

"While you might be trying to help, you could well be doing more harm than good. You're creating noise and you're potentially causing the driver to take their eyes off the road. Chances are you'll also cause them to do more sudden manoeuvres and send their frustration levels through the roof," he added.

"Our advice, from a road safety perspective is, unless it's an emergency, try to maintain a diplomatic silence, push your foot on that imaginary brake if you need to, then offer your advice once you've pulled in."

Irish Independent