Almost half of all drivers admit to having argued with a passenger over so-called ‘backseat driving’, a new study has revealed.

Research from the Accident Advice Helpline found that 46 percent of the 2,000 motorists questioned have had a row with a passenger who comments on their driving, while seven in 10 (70 percent) claiming there’s nothing more annoying than a backseat driver.

Top annoyances included criticism of decisions made on the road, which irritated 68 percent of respondents, while 51 percent were riled by passengers complaining they drive too fast. Other gripes included being told which lane to be in, pushing imaginary brakes and passengers who get road rage on the driver’s behalf.

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According to the survey, partners were found to be the biggest backseat drivers, followed by parents – although mothers were deemed more likely than fathers to make their offspring’s blood boil.

David Carter, spokesman for Accident Advice Helpline, said: ‘You usually find backseat drivers are the people who would prefer to be in control of the car, rather than sitting in as a passenger. And if you’re someone who drives on a daily basis, it can be really hard to switch off and let someone else take control.

‘Unfortunately, making comments and reacting to what is happening on the road while in the passenger seat can be a big distraction for the person driving. There is a higher risk of an accident or near-miss if the driver is having to fend off unhelpful feedback while trying to concentrate on the road.’

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