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PRESS RELEASE
23rd May 2008

IT’S OFFICIAL, MEN MAKE THE WORST BACK SEAT DRIVERS

Survey reveals 69% of all drivers say men are back seat bullies.

Breaking wind, burping, and fiddling with the volume controls on the car radio are among the top annoying habits of male back seat drivers.

A poll by car insurance retailer Swinton suggests that male passengers adopt a raft of pester tactics to bully the driver to compensate for the fact that they have been removed from the dominant role of controlling a car.

Rendered powerless by not actually being able to sit in the driving seat male passengers appear to do everything possible to interfere with the driver’s confidence.

From the 2,000 motorists surveyed by Swinton*, a staggering 69% of all drivers said men are worse passengers than women and 68% said given the choice they preferred to travel with women passengers rather than men on long journeys.

Even men think men make bad passengers with 43% saying that male passengers always advise the driver to use a different route or road, 33% want to change the music and 84% cannot resist fiddling with the air conditioning, with 46% unable to resist commenting on the speed of the car.

Conversely, only 20% of women drivers said that female passengers offer advice on which route or road to take, and only 5% insist on changing the driver’s choice of music, while just 8% of women passengers seek to fiddle with the climate controls.

As 18 million motorists embark on long journeys this Bank Holiday, Swinton is encouraging all back seat drivers to think twice before offering advice which could heighten tension and distract the driver.

Swinton is flagging up the dangers of these dreadful driving companions and warning motorists that arguing with the driver could lead to points on their driving licence or, at worse, cause an accident.

The Highway Code states that you must not drive without due care and attention and that you must avoid distractions such as arguing with passengers. Failure to do this could result in a £5,000 fine and up to nine penalty points**.

Chris Collings, head of insurer development said: “Annoying passengers can be a real distraction and can cause drivers to lose concentration. Driving is difficult enough, especially in Bank Holiday jams, without having an irritating back seat driver in tow.”

Survey headline results:

· Who are the worse passengers – men or women? Of all the drivers questioned 69% said men

· Who would you prefer to have as a passenger – men or women? Of all the drivers questioned 68% said women

· 43% of male drivers said that men always advise them to use a different route or road

· 74% of women drivers said that men always advise them to use a different route or road

· 20% of women drivers said that women always advise them to use a different route or road

· 33% of male drivers said that male passengers always change the music without asking

· 5% of women drivers said that women passengers always change the music without asking

· 84% of male drivers said that male passengers change the temperature of the car without asking

· 8% of women drivers said that women passengers change the temperature of the car without asking

· 46% of male drivers said that male passengers comment on the speed of the car – either too fast or too slow

· 21% of women drivers said that women passengers comment on the speed of the car – either too fast or too slow

- ENDS -

* A survey of 2,000 Swinton policy holders

** Information taken from www.direct.gov.uk

Notes to Editors:

For further information please contact Daniel Kennedy or Sarah Challinor at Spinoza Kennedy Vesey PR on Tel: 0161 838 7770 or email: daneil.kennedy@skvpr.co.uk




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