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10 Annoying Passenger Habits

As a driver who takes pride in his or her car, there is certain motor etiquette expected from passengers, especially the one in the hot seat – the car co-pilot. It could end up being the type of situation that can seriously affect the rest of your journey, or maybe the future of your relationship.

It’s when you drive alone with just one other person those annoying habits are highlighted in the enclosed environment of your car. Here, we take a look at certain car misconduct by listing our 10 most annoying passenger habits:


If you enforce the ‘No Food or Drink’ policy in your car, you might already have this covered. But, for the majority this can be a big worry. As soon as you see the snacks this passenger has brought along with them you’re wondering ‘Is that going to spill, stain or leave crumbs on my precious interior?’

2.Changing the music

Do you have a ‘My Car, My Music’ rule in your car? If not, this might bother you. You might have a playlist you were looking forward to listening to, but your car co-pilot isn't appreciating. It's the point when they try to take control, when you start to question the rest of your journey together.

3.Bad singing

Usually, a bad singer knows not to sing along, but this can change once they start to feel comfortable in your car, and their favourite song plays on the radio. It almost makes you want to change the song to make the suffering stop. But you like the song too. So what do you do? Unless your passenger is Stevie Wonder, do you bear the pain in your ears? Watch Stevie Wonder on James Corden's Late Late Show to see the perfect car co-pilot. 

4.Back Seat Driver

“You’re going the long way”, “You’re too close to that car”, and “You’re going too slow, speed up.” The unwanted advice from the passenger who thinks he or she is the captain in control of the wheel. No one likes a back seat driver. In fact, back seat drivers are proven to be dangerous. The ‘Driver Distraction’ study carried out by esure car insurance in 2011 revealed that 14% of motorists have had an accident or near miss due to being distracted by a back-seat driver.

5.Feet on the Dash

This one is likely to set any driver off the edge. Thinking about the cleanliness of the passenger’s footwear and wondering if it’s going to leave marks on your dashboard, as well as thinking how awfully rude? Would you treat your own car with such disrespect?

6.Door Slamming

Another form of disrespect for your car, or maybe the passenger is just heavy-handed. Still, most drivers will feel pain when they hear the car door shudder back into place, and wonder if any damage was done.

7.No arguments

Having an argument in a car can not only kill the mood of the journey, but it is proven to be a huge driving distraction. Last year the AA carried out a Populas survey of 23,085 AA members revealing that 65% argue in the car. The younger motorists, 18-24 year olds, are most likely to have in-car rows (73%) compared to 60% of over 65s.

8.Lack of direction

One of the responsibilities the car co-pilot usually carries is to help navigate the map or sat-nav. If you don’t know the way, don’t pretend. This will only annoy the driver and lose your credibility. In fact, the same AA survey mentioned above discovered that the top cause of in-car arguments was not knowing directions.

9.Shouting on the phone

It’s bad enough when you need to hear people’s phone conversations if you’re taking public transport, but this is not something you expect to hear in the comfort of your own car.

10.Messing with controls

The best example of this was demonstrated in a famous Men in Black scene when Will Smith’s character was warned ‘Don’t push the red button’, which he obviously ignored and ended disastrously. In ordinary cars, this could involve anything from opening the sunroof when it’s raining to putting the windows down when it’s cold. Temperature is another popular topic of in-car arguments. A polite passenger will ask if it’s ok to open windows or turn the heating up or down. But if he or she doesn’t, you’ll be wishing you had a red button to eject them from the car.

By Preeti Sanghera

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