Back-seat drivers causing most arguments

A YouGov survey commissioned by The Motor Ombudsman has found that nearly two-fifths (38%) of drivers deem the unwanted comments of back-seat drivers to be the main cause of in-car arguments.

The study also revealed children shouting, crying and fighting as the second biggest cause of arguments when on a journey (17%). Similarly, 14% respondents stated that passengers adjusting buttons and dials, changing the radio station or choice of music, and occupants leaving rubbish in the car, are some of the most likely irritations to provoke a dispute with their fellow passengers.

To diffuse the situation, over half (53%) of people who have had an argument with passengers while driving, said that they adopt a direct and firm approach for the behaviour to be nipped in the bud there and then. The almost half (48%) of drivers who have argued, think resolving an in-car clash helps to reduce stress.

Bill Fennell, chief ombudsman and managing director of The Motor Ombudsman, said, ‘Although holidays are an exciting time, being confined to a small space on a long journey can cause tension in the car. As with any differences of opinion, whether with family or a business, it is important for all parties involved to take the time to try to conclude any issues in a cool and constructive way to help prevent the problems from re-occurring.’

The poll of over 1,500 British motorists was carried out ahead of the launch of The Motor Ombudsman’s month long ‘Stay cool this summer’ social media campaign launching on 21 June.