Loud gasps when braking, complaints about speed, parking manoeuvre advice; we’ve all experienced some form of back-seat driving from our fellow passengers, but are you actually a back-seat driver yourself?

 A study of 2,000 motorists shows 7 in 10 believe there is nothing more irritating than a passenger who insists on offering unwelcome ‘help’ or advice.

A Top 20 list of annoyances by back-seat drivers have been compiled by Accident Advice Helpline via OnePoll.com, and spokesman, David Carter, said “You usually find back-seat drivers are the people who prefer to be in control of the car, rather than sitting as a passenger.

“And if you are someone who drives regularly, then as passenger it is difficult to switch off and allow someone else to be in control.

“Unfortunately, making comments and suddenly reacting to what is happening on the road as a passenger can be highly distracting for the person driving.

“There is a higher risk of an accident or near-miss if the driver is having to devote their attention to fending off unhelpful feedback instead of concentrating on the road.”

Researchers discovered that nagging partners are the worst offenders of back-seat driving, followed by parents.

Just under half of those asked have been in an argument with a passenger due to interfering comments, while an unfortunate 5% have accidentally jumped a red light while dealing with an annoying passenger.

A quarter of people have missed a turning, and 7% have suffered more serious collisions with another car, cyclist or pedestrian.

Other characteristics of a back-seat drivers includes: advising on which lane to be in, when to move at traffic lights, interfering with music, fiddling with heating controls and controlling the satnav.

Hand gestures such as waving ‘thank you’ at other drivers for letting ‘you’ out, and swearing at other drivers are also a sign that you are a back-seat driver, however only 21% of motorists admitted that they themselves are a back-seat driver when in someone else’s car.

Top 20 signs of a backseat driver:

1. Criticising the driver's decisions behind the wheel

2. Complaining about the driver going too fast

3. Gasping loudly at any slight braking movement

4. Flinching when they feel the driver is too close to another vehicle/obstacle/wall etc

5. Complaining about the driver going too slowly

6. Pointing out when to turn off or onto a road at a junction

7. Pressing an imaginary brake pedal

8. Advising on which lane the driver should be in

9. Telling the driver when the traffic lights have changed to green

10. Insisting on giving directions

11. Interfering with the music

12. Swearing at other cars' drivers

13. Gesticulating at other road users

14. Getting road rage on the driver's behalf

15. Waving 'thanks' at other drivers for letting you out

16. Reading out the road signs as they pass

17. Changing the in-car temperature

18. Holding your hands over your face

19. Closing your eyes frequently when someone else is driving

20. Disagreeing with satnav

Added: 08 January 2019

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