By Denna Bowman
Nearly four million UK motorists are so irritated by their passengers that they would prefer to drive alone, according to a survey by a leading tyres manufacturer.
The study by Continental tyres reveals that the Backseat Driver is the most annoying passenger to have in the car, while other infuriating companions include the Fiddler, the Crooner and the Drone.
The survey, which also shows that a further 14 million drivers prefer to travel alone most of the time, claims that as we get older we get less tolerant of others, with people in their fifties a third more likely to want to drive solo than those in their twenties.
Researchers studied the opinions of 4,000 drivers to discover that the average car-owner gets annoyed at least three times by their passengers’ behaviour during the typical car journey – taking just six minutes for their blood to boil.
Tempers have flared so much for one in five behind the wheel that they have asked a passenger to get out of the car.
Unable to keep their hands, feet and thoughts to themselves, the Backseat Driver was named the most annoying passenger to have in the car. They brake hard before every junction, slam the dashboard with their hands in panic, comment on every turn, and account for more than four in ten irritating passengers.
Tim Bailey, safety expert for Continental Tyres, said: “It is worrying that so many motorists are irritated to such extremes by their passengers. Driving is the time we need to be most alert, so a distraction such as an annoying passenger is likely to mean a driver losing concentration.
“We would suggest calmly letting the passenger know that what they are doing is distracting you, trying to calm down and most importantly, focusing on the road ahead.”