Vaping in the car, backseat driving and taking selfies are among the rudest offences committed by passengers.

According to new research for car insurer IST CENTRAL, a tenth (11%) of motorists say they have noticed that poor passenger behaviour has increased over the past year, with a fifth (20%) admitting that this has ultimately caused them to be distracted whilst behind the wheel.

Top 10 passenger etiquette errors

  1. Backseat driving
  2. Leaving a mess in the car
  3. Vaping
  4. Putting feet on the seats or dashboard
  5. Slamming the doors
  6. Changing the music (without asking)
  7. Taking selfies or pictures of the driver
  8. Opening and closing the windows
  9. Adjusting the sat nav
  10. Speaking on the phone

Etiquette expert William Hanson is on a mission to get good manners back on track and has these simple tips and tricks to help restore harmony in Britain’s cars.

William Hanson’s Alternative Highway Code

Smoke free. Offer your passenger the chance to smoke before the journey and if they can’t control themselves, advise them to pop a nicotine patch on beforehand. Let them know the same rules apply for vaping – you don’t want the plume of smoke from a vape to be a distraction to you or other drivers if your windows are down.

Scrap the selfies. If your passenger must capture the moment for prosperity, offer to take the selfie before you set off so you don’t have to do it again. Make sure you get the right one that you are both happy with so they aren’t tempted to try again at the first set of traffic lights you get to.

Hands off the radio. Before you pick up your passenger, you select the music. Keep the volume low but coherent so as not to encourage any unwelcome deaf tone notes when your passenger gets comfortable. Ensure you are engaging with your passenger to keep them occupied to avoid them flicking the radio or music of your choice.

Litter bugged. Make sure you have a temporary bin bag at the ready and drop your passenger off at the destination with said temporary bin bag in hand, ready to dispose of litter.

Back seat driver. If you have that one passenger that could be tempted to comment, remind them that critique is not welcome during the journey. If you feel your passenger is particularly twitchy, play a light-hearted car game to keep them otherwise occupied and avoid them slamming on that imaginary brake.

YouTube: The Alternative Highway Code