I used to drive a lot. A few years ago, it was nothing for me to jump in the car and drive three or four hours to spend the day with some friends before heading back home that evening.
These days, though, I’m good with my spot in the passenger seat. Even when we take my truck, I’m good with sitting back and letting my husband drive. It isn’t a gender thing or a married thing. It’s just a me thing.
I enjoy simply riding for a change. I get things done. Shopping lists, internet inquiries, blog posts … it can all be accomplished from the very comfy passenger side of a 2016 Ram 1500 Sport. I get to see a great deal more of the countryside than I used to see. And, for the most part, I have grown comfortable with my husband’s driving style. (No, this was not always the case, but as with anything, you get used to it in time.)
The funny thing is, my comfort in the passenger seat is nearly equal to my husband’s discomfort. He is NOT a good passenger. This translates into him also being a terrible backseat driver.
You’re probably thinking that I am actually the one who is the backseat driver, but I promise you, I rarely comment when my husband is behind the wheel. In fact, my comments are so infrequent that when he missed a turn a couple weeks ago I didn’t bother to say anything. He asked me why I didn’t say anything, to which I shrugged and responded, “I just figured you were going a different way.”
But back to my husband and his backseat-driving tendencies. To be clear, my husband is a wonderful, thoughtful, talented and caring man whom I love dearly. Unless I’m driving.
He has even gone so far as to backseat drive me from separate cars.
“Hey, babe. What’s up?”
“You’re following a little too close.”
“Well, if that ain’t the pot callin’ the kettle black. Honey, I love you. Get off my phone.”
There are a few things I’ve learned from being in the driver’s seat while my husband rides shotgun. For example:
- Let WAZE (or whatever navigation guide you choose) be your guide. Seriously. As annoying as she can be, GPS Lady is nowhere near as irritating as a passenger asking why you’re taking the route you’ve chosen. Or telling you you’ve missed your turn.
- If you are the passenger because you were smart enough to acknowledge that you required a designated driver, congratulations. Do not then dumb-down your acknowledgment by backseat driving.
- Driving down the road is not the optimal time to have a lesson about the infotainment system or any of the other cool gadgets in the vehicle.
- If your answer to “what does the yellow light mean?” is “go faster,” you should probably sit quietly and enjoy the ride.
All joking aside, when it comes down to it, backseat driving is simply another form of distracting the driver from an important task. If you’re a nervous passenger, concentrate instead on allowing your driver to do the best possible job of delivering you to your destination.