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Revealed: The 10 most annoying things a passenger can do

A survey has revealed the 10 absolutely most annoying crimes a passenger can commit ─ can you guess which one takes the top spot?

Being a passenger can be a paunfully dull experience, but it turns out drivers are often compensated nicely by rude and irritating behaviour, the ten worst examples of which have been revealed as part of a survey.

The tenth worst thing a passenger can do in the car, according to the 1,011 British motorists who took part in the survey, is apply their make-up, scoring 33 per cent of the vote.

Leaving rubbish in the car was voted slightly more annoying, according to 43 per cent, just behind passengers failing to contribute to petrol or parking costs – a problem that earned 45 per cent of the vote.

In seventh place is passengers wanting a break, a crime disliked by 49 per cent of drivers, while passengers getting involved in road rage moments was a bugbear for 56 per cent.

The problem of passengers taking over the temperature controls came in fifth place and scored 67 per cent (this is what dual-zone climate control is for), while the fourth most irritating behaviour was taking over the music controls (this is what headphones are for).

Surprisingly, third place went to an issue most likely to cause a blazing argument (or is that cargument?), when passengers provide the driver with poor directions ─ something 74 per cent of motorists agreed on.

Narrowly sneaking into second place was the problem of passengers eating in the car (76 per cent), presumably because nobody wants bits of aging pasty stuck to their lovely leather seats.

Scoring a whopping 88 per cent in the survey – undertaken by – we have the number one annoyance, which is that moment when passengers give unwelcome advice. Backseat driving, then, is very much at the front of our minds when it comes to passenger-induced misery.

You would assume most drivers are well-behaved when it’s their turn to sit back and relax, given they know the crimes first-hand, but in actual fact one in three admitted to being a bad passenger themselves.

In terms of the gender divide, 36 per cent of male drivers admitted to being annoying when someone else is driving, compared to 30 per cent of female drivers. Location had an effect on the results, too, with Bristol said to be home to the UK’s most annoying passengers.

“Passenger should be aware of these as it’s important that drivers are paying attention to the road and other drivers, and not concerned about those in the car handing out unwelcome advice or eating and making a mess on the back seat,” commented James Buttrick, a senior leasing consultant at the vehicle leasing company.

On how to deal with annoying co-riders, he added: “As a driver, there are certain things you could be doing to deter passengers from being annoying, such being direct but polite and upfront about the behaviours they irritating as telling them they can’t eat in the car or not to take over the music or temperature controls.”

Besides being highly annoying, backseat driving is often cited as a cause of road accidents. So maybe, as the old expression goes, put a sock in it?


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