Staying Calm in The Car


Hello!  I’m still here, I’ve just been hassled to bits with the kids and life in general so I’ve not had time to breathe, let alone blog.  Before I go on to try and update a bit more Fortnight in France, I just want to introduce a guest post from Sainsbury’s Money Matters.  The photo below is definitely not Horace and I by the way.  Horace would never wear a hat like that, and the sun doesn’t tend to be as bright a blue around here either, more’s the pity….  However we do bicker like mad in the car at times, and the bit about back seat drivers certainly could be us.  I swear one day Horace will chuck me out of the car for saying ‘Do you think we’re possibly, just a leeeetle bit too close to that car in front?’  whilst sitting as far back as possible in my seat, closing my eyes and miming pushing an invisible break pad with my left foot.

Ps. I can’t stop this blog from typing in itallics, sorry.  It’s an obstinate kind of blog it seems.

Staying Calm in the Car

From disputes over directions to quarrels over the quality of the driving, there are a million and one things to bicker about on a long car journey. So we’ve devised ways to keep cross words to a minimum when you’re on the road. Read on to find out how.

Problem: Strain over navigation

According to a study of 2,200 people by Halfords, most arguments in the car are about navigation and following directions. While a third of us argue over the route to a destination, two thirds say disagreements flare up as a result of their partner’s poor map reading. In fact, 80% of women and 65% of men complained their partners didn’t even check the route before setting off! And while en route, 85% said they argued because the driver refused to ask for directions.

Solution: Before you set off, look at your route with your partner and agree on the best way to get there. Take a map and a sat nav – your best defence against getting lost.

Problem: Disagreement over radio station/music choice

We might adore our partner, but that doesn’t mean we love their obsession with thrash metal. Which explains why 20% of us argue over in-car music or radio station selection, according to a survey of 3,000 people by SEAT.

Solution: Understand one thing – you might never love your partner’s questionable music taste. But you can show a bit of tolerance and agree to compromise. Why not listen to each other’s choice of music for 30 minutes, and then swap?

Problem: Cannot agree on car temperature

It’s the height of summer, so your partner has the window open and the air conditioning on, and yet it’s raining and about 12ºC, so you’re desperate to put the heater on. This situation is more common than you’d think – 15% of in-car arguments are about having the heating too high and 14% are about the air-conditioning being too low, says SEAT.

Solution: This is a fairly easy one to crack. If you feel the cold more than your partner, take some extra clothing to wear in the car. That way, the air conditioning can be on and you will still feel warm. There is no need, however, for the windows to be open as well – choose one or the other.

Problem: Designated driver dispute

You’ve planned a big night out with your partner and friends, and you really don’t want to drive because you want to enjoy a few glasses of wine. The trouble is, so does your partner.

Solution: The easy answer is to go by cab, or arrange to stay at your friends’ house or a cheap B&B so neither of you has to drive back. If those options are out of the question, one of you is going to have to drive. But being a designated driver should be a shared responsibility, so whoever agrees to drive shouldn’t have to do it next time.

Problem: Constant backseat driving

There’s nothing worse than being continually told how to drive by your passenger, or having your motoring skills constantly undermined by them. Is it any wonder that 20% of those surveyed by SEAT have argued with their partner about backseat driving? And if the driver becomes distracted by such comments, it could lead to an accident.

Solution: If you’re a passenger having a go at your driver, but you don’t actually want to get behind the wheel, keep your criticism to a minimum. The occasional justified comment is fine, but don’t go on. After all, if you really feel unsafe, get out and walk, or do the driving yourself (provided you have the right car insurance cover

Equally, if your passenger is constantly complaining about your driving, instead of getting all worked up, think about what they’re saying. If they have a point, alter your driving for both your sakes. But if you disagree, tell them to put up and shut up.

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3 responses to “Staying Calm in The Car

  1. Oh, the #middleclasswoes lol.
    Just don’t have a car. We don’t have any of these issues.

  2. middle class….would consider myself lower working class but a car is an essential in my book.
    my oh even tells Mrs Sat Nav to shut up cos he wont listen to her properly!!

  3. It’s almost as if we don’t have a car as I don’t drive so I don’t have access to it at all during the week. At weekends it does seem fairly essential, we’re out in the sticks so it takes forever to go for days out as a family on buses. I don’t think we’d cope without one at weekends tbh. And yep, we argue with the Sat Nav too. She gets called all the names under the sun, lol!

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