How to Handle A Backseat Driver?
Backseat driver- Nothing can be as annoying to the person driving as hearing the person beside them talk about how to drive and how wrong they are driving, despite driving in a proper condition.
Usually, it’s a family member or a close friend that ends up playing the role of being the backseat driver and thus, causing distress and irritation while driving. We recently spoke of stress while driving, and one primary cause of it is the stress induced by backseat driving.
Some people feel the person driving is either accelerating too fast, turning too late, braking too hard, sitting longer at signals or driving at a snail’s pace, despite the best efforts to drive in a proper manner. And all such points by people end up causing the person to get agitated.
Most people can relate to having felt this once at least while driving. The term for such a person is a backseat driver, a term that can be best described as someone that dispenses ‘helpful’ tips and bits of advice when you drive. It’s not necessarily that the advice is always wrong, however, if done all the time while driving, crosses the line of positive criticism and reaches the realms of being distracting and annoying.
Such is the distraction and agitation that while driving that every year thousands of people end up hurt or in an accident. And while in most cases distraction can be attributed to the wrong use of mobile phones in the form of texting as well as making calls, there are many other ways for a person driving to get distracted. Furthermore, a lot of organisations list talking to the driver as a major concern and a reason behind accidents. And now throw in distress and agitation from unnecessary criticism, the recipe for disaster is ready by all means.
Why a Backseat Driver Considers it a Responsibility to Do What They Do
Driving is a responsible job and not something you can do with half attention. Another person in the car dispensing unwanted advice on how you need to drive and what you are doing at all times isn’t really a thing one would necessarily like. Backseat drivers don’t understand that them not keeping their mouth shut and letting the person drive properly can be precarious. Backseat drivers cause a lot of unnerving behaviour and tension.
However, let’s try and look at the whole prospect using a different viewpoint. Usually, a backseat driver is nervous or anxious. This leads the person to make snide and otherwise rude comments demeaning the driving capability to drive, and all of this comes at the concern for their safety.
Although, their nervousness and anxiousness manifest itself as a desire to take control and in the form of criticism. It’s essential that a driver understands that the passenger’s behaviour isn’t really insulting, rather a way for the person to try to take control from the point of self-preservation. But, not everything can be understood, and despite all understanding, words do at time sting and unnerve the driver. Hence, for that, let’s look at ways to deal with backseat drivers.
5 Ways You Can Deal With a Backseat Driver
Do you have to particularly deal with a difficult backseat driver that’s making your life troublesome especially when driving? It is obviously quite painful to concentrate on driving when you have to deal with such a person. These ways will be able to help you as you deal with such a passenger.
1. Plan the journey beforehand
When you have to drive for a long time with the same passenger, then it’s necessary to plan in advance. Backseat drivers are extraordinarily nervous, and hence, a good way to calm them and get some amount of peace even momentarily is for you to take various breaks on the way. Stop for one thing or the other, it’ll help steer the conversation to a different direction, which will probably calm the nerves.
2. Give them something they can do
A reason behind backseat driving happens is because people who engage in them are bored. For helping them from getting bored and distracting you, try giving them something that helps with their boredom and keeps them off your back.
You could ask them to check navigation or anything you want them to see so you can drive in peace.
3. Talk to them about it
In the case of this being someone that you often drive around with, then you need to set some basic ground rules, telling them that their behaviour is detrimental to your concentration while driving as it leaves a negative effect on you. You could proceed to tell that while the advice might be appreciable, but in a setting like this, it leaves you unable to garner full attention to driving. You can further offer them to drive if they can and want to as a means of solving this issue.
4. Turn on the radio/music
Before going with someone whom you know to be a backseat driver, you can take help of music/radio for soothing them. This will help ease tension as well and allow you better concentration for driving without heckled by the backseat driver.
5. Check your driving too
Do you accelerate faster initially? Or do you drive faster and recklessly? Or do you go over the bumps in a way that can be deemed hard? Your backseat driver might be pointing over to certain issues that are real. However, you should be calm while considering these issues. These aren’t something to take on the ego and you may want a change in how you can drive for improving safety.
Distraction isn’t only in the form of gadgets like mobile phones etc. It can also come in the form of a person sitting next to you. You should take steps to deal with this distraction that comes in the form of backseat driver for improving your attention and driving safely.