No one likes a back seat driver, but how do you know if you are one? Depending on who you are driving with and the type of close relationship that you have with the person who is driving the car, you may know this information immediately or it may be something that you pick up on over time.
They are often the ones that you will see sitting in the front passenger seat and/or back seat of a vehicle, looking both ways and informing the driver as to whether or not is is indeed safe to proceed through the intersection. While they give off the impression that they are trying to be helpful, most drivers simply find them to be utterly annoying. One of the dangers of driving with someone who is a backseat driver is the fact that when they are constantly telling you how to drive or where to look out, they are actually being incredibly distracting, which can cause you to get into a serious accident if you are not totally focused. And in most cases, if you are totally focused, this translates into simply ignoring the person who is speaking to you as you are trying to make split second decisions while driving.
I have had the occasion (several in fact) of driving with someone who is notorious for being a bad driver. I found that the overall experience of sharing a vehicle with someone who is constantly correcting your driving and/or suggesting different points in which you “could have run that light” or “could have turned on this street to cut through” makes me want to kick them out of the car or simply just park the car and leave them in it while I walk home instead. But how do you begin to speak to someone who is infamous for having a running commentary on your driving skills or lack of skills? The best situation is to wait until you are completely stopped to say anything because when you are completely stopped, you can give them your full attention without having to split your focus between the road and the passenger. Politely tell them that while you appreciate their willingness to be helpful, it is incredibly distracting at best to inform you as to how you should be driving your car. In one instance, while driving with someone, I was behind the wheel when the person suddenly called out an exclamation. I was about to make a left hand turn when this happened. Thinking that something was wrong, I didn’t make my turn but rather, I looked over at them to see what was the matter. It turned out that they were exclaiming that it was alright for me to turn quickly before the next line of traffic hit.
Remember that when you are driving, you have to be focused on what is going on around you. If you don’t feel comfortable telling the person you are driving with to zip it, most times if you simply ignore them or change the subject, they will get the hint. No hard feelings!
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