Back-seat drivers the ‘main cause’ of in-car arguments
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Left – No, Right – Use your indicators!
The misplaced guidance of woeful back-seat passengers can set a driver off like a bottle rocket, and now, the impact of unneeded assistance from the back row on disgruntled drivers has been measured and confirmed.
A poll of over 1,500 British motorists found that nearly two-fifths (38 per cent) of drivers deem the unwanted comments of back-seat drivers to be the main cause on in-car arguments.
The study was commissioned by The Motor Ombudsman, an automotive dispute resolution provider to gather data on what peeves drivers off behind the wheel.
Their aim was to use the information for a Motor Ombudsman campaign offering consumer tips on how to ‘resolve disputes quickly and calmly’.
The study also found that children shouting, crying and fighting as the second biggest cause of arguments when on a journey (17 per cent).
Passengers adjusting buttons and dials (14 per cent), changing the radio station or music (14 per cent), and leaving rubbish in the car (14 per cent) were other annoyances that’d test the patience of drivers.
To calm the air, over half (53 per cent) of people who had an argument with passengers while driving said that they adopt a ‘direct and firm approach’ to end the matter then and there.
At the other end of the scale, almost a quarter (24 per cent) of drivers opted for more of a ‘meh’ approach, by doing nothing and seeing if the situation improves.
But it appears even when agitated we are not creatures of confrontation, as a near majority (48 per cent) of drivers thought resolving an in-car clash is a ‘good idea,’ and helped to reduce stress behind the wheel.
A third of people cited the most important reason for ending a dispute was to avoid a repeat of the same arguments (33 per cent), to make future journeys more relaxing with some compromise (33 per cent), and to improve relations with others (32 per cent).
To let off steam, almost one in four (24 per cent) would share their side of the argument with their other half, whilst 10 per cent would prefer to unload their grievances onto friends.
Bill Fennelly, Chief Ombudsman and Managing Director of The Motor said road trips should be an exciting time, but being confined in a small space on a long roadie can cause tension.
“As with any differences of opinion, whether with family or a business, it is important for all parties involved to take the time to try to conclude any issues in a cool and constructive way to help prevent the problems from re-occurring.”
A fair point, but regardless, back-seat drivers are still wrong – they always are.