Put a brake on bad passenger behaviour with William Hanson’s Alternative Highway Code

• Backseat driving, vaping and taking selfies ranked amongst the most irritating passenger habits

We’ve recently completed research that’s revealed backseat driving, vaping in the car and taking selfies are amongst the rudest offences committed by passengers.

Over a tenth (11%) of motorists said 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. To put a brake on poor passenger behaviour, 1ST CENTRAL has partnered with etiquette expert William Hanson to help drivers get good manners back on the map.

From designating time for selfies to encouraging passengers not to vape in the car, drivers can use these simple tips and tricks to get the journey back on track and restore harmony in Britain’s cars.

William Hanson’s Alternative Highway Code

  1. 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.
  2. 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’re both happy with so they aren’t tempted to try again at the first set of traffic lights.
  3. 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 high pitched notes when your passenger gets comfortable. Ensure you’re engaging with your passenger to keep them occupied to avoid them flicking the radio or music of your choice.
  4. 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 their litter.
  5. Back seat driver. If you’ve got that one passenger who could be tempted to comment, remind them that their critique isn’t 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.

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

Commenting on the guide, etiquette expert William Hanson said: “Road rage towards other drivers is something most motorists will admit to having suffered at one point or another. To have your own passengers, be that family or friends, cause you similar levels of anxiety and distraction, can be dangerous for both your relationships and your driving. When you are behind the wheel you need to be able to steer the behaviour of passengers to give you a stress-free environment which allows you to concentrate on the road. My Alternative Highway Code gives drivers a strategy to combat the worst passenger behaviour, from managing wannabe DJs to dealing with selfie addicts.”

Andy James, UK CEO at 1ST CENTRAL commented: “Everyone has their pet passenger peeves. They can be annoying to the point of distraction which doesn’t equate to safe journeys. We hope that the simple tricks and tips William Hanson’s shared in our Alternative Highway Code will help make summer road trips less stressful, and ultimately safer for everyone”.