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Who’s the Worst Backseat Driver?

back seat driver
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Unless you have a strange addiction to being nagged, there are few things more frustrating than having to listen to a backseat driver. But who makes the worst driving micro-manager?

According to a new survey, spouses—whether husbands or wives—top the list, while children are usually the least irritating passengers. That's something both men and women agree on, according to a poll of 500 drivers by Insurance.com.

"My husband is constantly telling me to speed up, to pass, to change lanes, to take another route to the grocery store," grumbled Carrie Willington, a New Jersey receptionist and mother of three. But after a pause, she laughs and admited, "Then again, when he's behind the wheel I'm always telling him to slow down and stop changing lanes all the time."

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Among the women drivers polled for the survey, 34 percent pointed the finger as their husbands when it comes to the worst backseat driver. Mothers came in second at 18 percent, with friends listed as third at 15 percent.

Men were even quicker to list a spouse, wives listed by 40 percent, with friends taking place at 17 percent and mothers ranking third at 15 percent.

While children might be the source of that familiar refrain, "Are we there yet?" they ranked surprisingly low in terms of being backseat drivers, according to Insurance.com.

Combining the results of both men and women motorists, adult daughters were listed by just 7 percent while:

  • A child son was listed by 5 percent;
  • An adult son by 4 percent;
  • And daughters, whether teen or child was named by 3 percent, as were teen sons.

Perhaps surprisingly, fathers were rated worst passengers by only 5 percents of those polled.

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"Getting there isn't always half the fun, according to managing editor Michelle Megna, who added, "Micromanagement from the backseat critics can turn a scenic drive into a battle of wills."

As to what backseat drivers are most likely to complain about, the survey found the biggest offenses to be:

  • Comments on driving speed, 47 percent;
  • Giving alternative directions, 29 percent;
  • Talking too much, 19 percent
  • Pushing an imaginary brake with their foot, 15 percent, and
  • Taking over the radio, changing stations, tunes or volume, 10 percent.

Other complaints included texting and making cellphone calls, making sound effects while playing video games, screaming and getting car sick.

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Insurance.com editor Megna offered a few tips to quiet those backseat drivers, including mapping out a route ahead of time, coming to consensus on what music to listen to, and banishing opinionated passengers to the backseat.

(Read More: How Much Americans Think Families Need to Get By)

She also suggested that deep-breathing techniques might help—perhaps both backseat drivers as well as the person actually behind the wheel.

-By CNBC Contributor Paul Eisenstein; Follow him on Twitter @DetroitBureau