How to Deal With a Backseat Driver

backseat driver

What is a Backseat Driver?

A backseat driver is a passenger in a vehicle (not necessarily in the backseat) who gives unsolicited advice to the driver. This type of behavior can contribute to distracted driving. Learn more about how drivers can deal with the much dreaded and aggravating backseat driver.

Do Not Respond with Hostility

Backseat drivers exhibit anxiety when not in control. Instead of responding to their criticism with harsh words — take a deep breathe and respond with calmness. Acknowledge their concerns and consider delegating a task to the backseat driver to keep them occupied.

Give the Backseat Driver Something to Do

This can be a very effective strategy. Channel the backseat driver’s nervousness and anxiety by helping them take their mind off of the situation.

Suggested Tasks to Occupy the Backseat Driver:

  • Find music on the radio.
  • Provide navigation to the intended destination.
  • Research businesses (eg: retail stores, restaurants, bakeries) nearby the final destination.

Communicate Your Feelings and Concerns

Make sure to not discuss concerns or feelings while in the car and just after unsolicited advice from the backseat driver. Emotions can be heightened. Set the framework for a productive and respectful conversation by allowing some time for emotions to wane. Continuing the conversation in a different setting can promote fellowship.

In addition, take a hard look at your driving habits. The backseat driver may have legitimate concerns. Are you well informed with right-of-way rules? Do you know when it is safe to pass another vehicle on the highway?

Quick Tips to Improve Your Driving Habits:

  • Carve out some time for self-reflection.
  • Put pen to paper and identify areas of improvement.
  • Formulate actionable steps to overcoming your driving deficiencies.  
  • Commit to a deadline for achieving the actionable steps.

Complete an Online Refresher Course on Distracted Driving

Register yourself and your backseat driver for an online refresher course on the topic of distracted driving. Do it together. Learn about the types of distractions, how the brain processes information, the extreme dangers of cell phones and other forms of distracted driving. In addition to furthering the conversation about backseat driving, many car insurance providers offer discounts for completion of proactive driving courses. Be sure to ask your insurance provider for more information and ways to save!

If you’re interested in sharpening your knowledge and becoming a more proactive driver, contact Top Driver today!

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