More than half of people (56 per cent) admit to heated ‘carguments’, arguing with their partner about their driving habits, reveals research from Direct Line Motor Insurance.
One in 13 (8 per cent) people have broken up with a partner due to their annoying driving habits, rising to nearly one in five (18 per cent) young people aged 18-34.
Speeding is the greatest source of disagreement, with almost a quarter of couples arguing about driving too fast (23 per cent). People are rightly concerned about their safety in the car if their partner is speeding. The scale of driving too fast is shown by the 1.48 million drivers that were forced to attend a National Speed Awareness Course last year.
Other top sources of in car complaints are backseat driving (22 per cent), road rage (17 per cent), and tailgating (13 per cent). Couples also complained about poor indicating, with one Brit grumbling about their partner: “refuses to indicate and tells me not to when I’m using his car. He says he doesn’t want the indicators to wear out!”
Beyond driving style, the behaviour that causes the most arguments between couples is leaving rubbish in the car, one in four (25 per cent) complain it is a pet peeve with their partner. Commenting on their partner’s untidiness, one lady said: “he is always leaving rubbish on my seat. I fine him £5 for each piece of litter now!”
Top five most annoying driving habits
|Top five most annoying habits||Proportion of couples|
|Driving too fast||23 per cent|
|Backseat driving||22 per cent|
|Road rage||17 per cent|
|Tailgating||13 per cent|
|Nervous driving||12 per cent|
Source: Direct Line
Lorraine Price, Head of Motor Insurance at Direct Line, said, “It’s clear that driving habits are often leading to ‘carguments’ with speeding a significant source of tension.
“Considerate driving, good communication, and mutual respect for each other’s driving habits can help prevent friction and create a safer and more enjoyable driving experience for everyone.”
Dr Sheri Jacobson, founder of Harley Therapy, had this advice, “Drive mindfully taking other road users and your passengers into consideration. It’s natural that disputes arise when you are sitting in the same space with a full view of what the other is doing and with a clear sense of how we would like things to go.
“Give and take is important in any relationship, and this applies off and on the road. Try to be mindful of your impact on other road users and your passengers, try to discuss any niggling issues that arise and compromise where possible. Using humour can often help to soften tensions and brighten up a journey.”
Simple steps to reduce stress within the vehicle:
- Plan your route carefully and allow plenty of time for your journey to avoid feeling pressured to rush.
- Have something to eat before setting off as hunger can affect your concentration, however do not eat or drink at the wheel as this could distract you from driving.
- Focus on calm, controlled breathing, which can help release muscular tension and relieve stress.
- Drive at appropriate (and legal) speeds for the road environment and avoid overtaking unless absolutely necessary.
- If you’re driving long distances, pull over where it is safe to do so and have a break. The highway code recommends taking a break every two hours for at least 15 minutes.