Moms or Spouses: Who is the Peskiest Back-Seat Driver?

A recent survey by asked 500 drivers who their most irritating passengers are and surprisingly enough, it’s not the kids.

About 40 percent of men and 34 percent of women said their spouses were the worst “back-seat drivers,” a term that describes anyone who isn’t behind the wheel but distracts the driver, usually by either directing or criticizing their performance.

Mothers, unsurprisingly, also ranked pretty high with 18 percent of women and 15 percent of men rating them as the worst backseat drivers. Friends were second on the men’s list with a 17 percent vote and third on the women’s list with a 15 percent vote.

Children ranked relatively low, with adult daughters receiving a top ranking from only 7 percent of the respondents. Male and female children of all other ages got no more than 5 percent.

As for the behavior that enraged the respondents the most: back seat passengers complaining about their driving speed.  Almost 50 percent of the respondents reported this as the peskiest offense.

Giving directions, talking too much, pushing an imaginary “brake” with foot, fiddling with radio or CD player, and singing were also included on the list of annoying passenger conduct.

The survey also allowed respondents to pen in behaviors that weren’t included on the list. Included in these complaints were passengers making faces and gestures, giving commentary on a video game with gun-firing sounds, screaming about something the driver is already aware of and pointing to a turn after passing it.