Sunday 20 October 2019

Gabby drivers are passengers' worst nightmare in Ireland, new study finds

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Opel Grandland
Opel Grandland
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

I would have thought gabby passengers were the biggest pain for drivers. But no. New research suggests gabby drivers are passengers' worst nightmare in Ireland.

The study, for mobility solutions specialist Easytrip, found that drivers talking and not paying attention to what was happening on the road ahead was the most annoying traits for 20pc of passengers.

Other faults that annoyed passengers included those who drive too fast, didn't keep their car clean and didn't use their indicators. I think we can all say we know someone who ticks at least one of those boxes, don't we?

Funnily enough, the back-seat driver plague is deemed to be only worthy of fourth spot in another part of the Easytrip survey. First came the reluctant co-pilot, followed by the snoozer, music lover, back-seat driver and chatterbox.

Elsewhere, the old 'I spy' game remains a firm favourite for 38pc of those who took part, ahead of video games and portable DVD players.

What bugs you most? Let us know:

* You'd have thought the steering wheel, indicators and gear knob would be places of high-germ counts, but apparently not. A practical germ audit, after taking swabs from 20 parts of a car, found the boot to be most heavily infested. The steering wheel was one of the most germ-free places.

In the interests of accuracy, it should be pointed out that the boot in the particular car had been used for transporting pets, so I don't know how relevant the overall findings really are. Much more credible were high germ counts on the seatbelt button, handbrake and in the driver footwell.

The experiment was conducted by auto retailer Motorpoint. Its study purportedly highlighted how "bad slack car cleaning and maintenance could be to your - and your passengers' - health".

* Opel here have added a new 1.5-litre 130hp diesel to the Grandland X powertrain lineup. It replaces the current 1.6 120hp diesel variant. Opel say driving response is much improved, with plenty of power all the way up the revs. The new engine can be ordered this month.

* Boy do you see a lot of lovely alloys scraped, scratched and damaged. I've often wondered why someone hasn't come up with a way of protecting them. It just so happens they have. And I think it might be a help for you. It is called KerbSafe. It just sits almost unnoticed but seems to be highly effective. I only noticed them when pointed out to me on a Volkswagen I was taking on test. They work and look well. If you want to show off there is a Red KerbSafe version (more muted colours include silver and black). The thing is they take nothing from the alloy - except the risk of damage. KerbSafe Ireland have the Irish rights to it. Cost of having them fitted by your dealer? €300 at the most, I'm told.

* Congrats to Land Rover on their 70th birthday. Monday marked 70 years since the first Land Rover made its debut at the Amsterdam Motor Show. It began as a utility model at the end of WW2 and has grown to sell more than seven million.

* And congrats to Connollys Volkswagen Sligo, recently awarded Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Dealer of the Year at the recent Gold Pin awards.

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