I have a confession to make and it wasn’t easy for me to admit this. I am a backseat driver.
Are you shocked by my revelation? Sorry if I disappointed you but it is what it is.
Yip, I’m that annoying passenger.
And, let me just say, I guess I’ve earned this stereotypical name “backseat driver”. Although I find myself mostly in the front passengers seat and not at the back; my reaction and behaviour is the same.
The victim in the driver’s seat is my husband. Funny enough, this bad habit does not transpire when I’m a passenger in someone else’s car. Now I love my husband very much but the thing is when he drives, some demon just creeps out of me and I become this control freak.
On the other hand, when I drive he doesn’t say a word. Do not comment on my driving skills or fault me in any way. I see myself as a pretty good driver, perhaps he sees that too.
Also, I have to give credit to him for being very calm when I give comments and advice on his driving. Deep down I know he gets irritated but to avoid an argument, he keeps quiet.
So here are typical things I say.
Complaints about speed
“We’ll never get there at this pace”
“Keep your distance from the other car”
“Go down here”
“Try this route”
“Why are we taking a detour?”
“Watch that car”
“Just give way to that that taxi or bus”
“There’s a pothole”
“You need to think for other driver’s as well”
“Seriously, where did you learn to drive?”
“Stop changing lanes”
Ludicrous is the perfect word to summarise the above. In actual fact, typing these comments made me realise how bad my behaviour is as a passenger.
But today I’m here to end this – I’m ready to take control and curb this bad habit for good. I’m going to back off.
My ramblings could cause a serious accident and I don’t want that to be on me.
I have to take serious action as these tendencies have now starting rubbing off on my kids and they too have now become backseat drivers. Chirping from the back seat has now come in the form of “Let’s pass that slow coach”; “What’s the rush?”; “Do you even know where you going to?”; “Please, turn the volume up or down”
Ways of curbing this bad backseat driver habit of mine
- Shift my attention. I will try and keep myself occupied with something and not focus my attention on his driving abilities.
- Critic jar. Adding R5 coins to a jar every time I criticise, advise or comment on his driving skills.
- Control and trust. I must allow him to take full control of the steering wheel and trust his abilities.
- Converse more. Allow for more meaningful conversation instead of commenting on his driving skills.
Now according to an article from Women on Wheels, passengers have the right to speak out on the following bad driving behaviour and even take control of the vehicle, if it makes them feel uncomfortable.
- Drinking alcohol/taking drugs and driving
- Talking on a cellphone without a handsfree kit
- Texting and driving
- Reckless driving by constantly switching lanes
- Excessive speeding
- Aggression towards other drivers, which can cause road rage
Are you a backseat driver who give comments or does annoying things in a car? or Are you in the driver’s seat and have an annoying backseat driver hovering over you? Feel free to leave your comments.