Carrying passengers a dangerous distraction


While we’re all well aware of the potential dangers caused by using a mobile phone behind the wheel, or driving when too tired, many motorists are oblivious to the danger sat right next to them: their passenger. A new survey conducted by car insurance provider Admiral, shows that carrying friends and family in the car is often the cause of arguments, distractions and sometimes even collisions, with one in three respondents admitting that they have fallen out with a passenger while they were driving.

For some, these arguments go beyond the point of no return. 15 per cent of motorists have become so infuriated with a passenger that they’ve stopped and thrown them out of the car.

Back-seat-driving is the most common cause of tension between drivers and passengers, with 35 per cent of drivers citing criticism of their driving skills as a reason for arguing.

Other common causes for raised blood pressure are passengers who shout at other road users, and those who think it’s ok to put their feet up on the dashboard.

An Admiral spokesperson said: “It is important to remember that the motorist is ‘in control’ and that anything which takes their attention off the immediate task might be fatal.

“The potential for distraction and dispute might partly explain why three-quarters of drivers admit to feeling more nervous when they have somebody in the car with them. Nearly half of respondents said they prefer to be on their own, while just a quarter said they would rather have some company during a trip in the car.”

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