I’m not sure why they call it a back seat driver, I sat in the back seat yesterday while my husband drove and for the first time ever I managed to keep my mouth shut!!
Hands up though, I am the worst back seat driver ever, if they could give and award for it then mine would certainly be gold!
Yesterday evening I had a call from a friend.
“I’ve got my driving test next week and I wondered if you would take a drive with me so I can get some extra practice?”
MY Worst Nightmare!!
I couldn’t even get in the car when my husband was learning. Thankfully I couldn’t get him insured in my car until he passed his test so I had a good excuse. But I am seriously scared of being in a car with a learner driver. A driving instructor would be my nightmare job.
I had to let her down, I hope she understands. I just couldn’t do it. I hope she passes her test, I really do. I have everything crossed for her.
When my husband first passed his test I was a nervous wreck getting in the car with him. In his first six months of driving he’s had two bumps, that’s two black marks on our insurance policy. I haven’t had a bump in nearly 20 years! I am a very careful driver though and I hate it when I see someone else not being so careful. I don’t even have to be in the car to notice, oh yes, I saw you cutting off the corner or speeding up the crossing and braking hard at the last minute. You wouldn’t catch me doing that.
My husband is a good driver but he’s most definitely a MAN driver. The seat is pushed back so he can relax in it and he loves having just one had on the wheel. I have to drive with one hand on the wheel because as a hand driver my other hand is on the accelerator/brake, but I have a knob on the wheel to make one handed steering easier. He takes off my knob when driving but still thinks he can control the wheel with one hand, while fiddling with the radio with the other.
I do feel more comfortable in the car now but I often notice that he will pull off at an island when I probably would have waited a little longer, he speeds up to junction and stops suddenly (one of my pet hates) he stops suddenly at traffic lights as if he hasn’t been paying attention, and he edges out of junctions impatiently. He also gets angry with other drivers and throws insults at them.
And me? I can’t keep my mouth shut. I’m telling him all the time, which way to go, to slow down, to be patient, to look out for the lights, to watch that car coming from the right, that he’s in the wrong lane going around an island. I just can’t help myself. I drive him nuts and we often end up arguing.
Then I apologise because I am trying not to be critical but to help him drive better.
He accepts my apology and we turn it all into a joke.
I never used to be like this. I was driven around for many years before I started driving myself and I never once opened my mouth in criticism. I think being a driver makes me more aware and more critical.
I don’t speak when I’m other cars but I do notice. I notice taxi drivers that are speeding or taking too much notice of their radio rather than the road. But I wouldn’t dare tell a taxi driver off.
I hope my husband understands. I do think he’s taken to driving really well and in just six months he’s achieved loads. When we went on holiday he drove for hours on the motorway and country lanes and he did brilliantly. I felt relaxed enough to take in the view. I only got panicky once when he went down a very steep and bendy incline a little too fast. I’m pretty sure he felt he was in complete control but I felt my stomach in my mouth. I think I may have been scared if I’d been driving too.
He rarely panics, even when lost. I panic terribly when I lose my way. To be fair we are both as bad as each other when it comes to directions, so it doesn’t matter who’s driving and who’s giving directions, we always get it wrong. Thankfully we can laugh about it (after the argument.)
What about you? Are you a back seat driver? Is your partner? Would you have the patience to teach someone else to drive? I’m sure I’m not the only one.