We all have that one person in our lives; they have the best intentions, but they are a living nightmare to drive with. Whether it’s criticizing your driving skills or gasping every ten seconds, backseat drivers are a significant distraction on the road.
Unfortunately, backseat drivers are as dangerous as they are distracting. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving killed over 3,000 people in 2016 and injured thousands in the years since. Many drivers report that one of the largest distractions in the car is other passengers or backseat drivers, but how do you deal with backseat driving without causing any accidents?
Five ways to deal with a backseat driver
It’s easy to get into an argument with a backseat driver, especially if they criticizing your abilities. However, getting into a heated debate will only put you and your passenger at risk for a car accident. Some better ways to address a backseat driver include:
1. Let them be in control – There are circumstances where you will have to ride with a backseat driver, but you do not have to drive. You can allow the other passenger to take control of the vehicle instead of you.
2. Distract your backseat driver – You can easily ease your backseat driver by distracting them. Get their mind off the road by putting on a podcast or an audiobook. They engage in the narrative, and you focus on the street.
3. Kindly tell them how you feel – It is frustrating to deal with a backseat driver because no one likes to be criticized. Instead of yelling at them, kindly acknowledge their concerns and let them know how they are distracting you. You can even mention the dangers of distracted driving to emphasize your point.
4. Set ground rules before driving – If you are driving with a relative or a friend who is a backseat driver, consider setting ground rules before hitting the road. It helps set expectations for everyone and allows them to find another ride if need be.
5. Do not drive with a backseat driver – If all other techniques fail, do not operate a vehicle with a specific passenger. Let them know that it is too distracting and you have to prioritize your safety. This should be your last case scenario.
It’s up to you, as the driver, to stand your ground against backseat drivers. However, recognize when you can improve your driving techniques. If you do get into an accident with a passenger, make sure to seek medical attention immediately for both you and your rider.