The weekend has sadly been and gone, hopefully you had a pleasant time with your friends or family. Or maybe you stayed in and played video games in your pants for two days straight, equally as enjoyable and frankly we don’t get enough time to play video games in our pants these days. I went to the tank museum, it was WICKED, I’ll do a write up on it later. Tanktastic fun aside, I saw an awful lot of cars on the road both coming in to and going out of Bournemouth and I just knew a lot of the people inside those cars were probably going to fall out on their cars journeys.


People are going to argue in the car, it’s just something that happens and sometimes it’s for no discernible reason. Sometimes you’ve just been in the car too long and you need to release that pent up energy, unfortunately the only people around are your loved ones so they get the brunt of it. It’s cool though, two year old Timmy probably won’t mind you blaming him for everything, he probably won’t even realise! Idiot!

While sometimes there are no reasons for getting into roaring arguments in the car, a lot of the time something has set someone off and it can be the smallest thing. Well, someone has done the research into what is causing everyone to tear each other to shreds in the car, that person is Harman. Yes that’s the one from Harmon/Kardon, the maker of awesome audio equipment. They make plenty of in car audio equipment and tech so it makes sense for them to find out what people are arguing about to see if they can provide any solutions.

Without further ado, here is the list.

1) Getting Lost – 33%

This should come as no surprise really. There are few things more infuriating than knowing you have a long journey ahead of you and realising you’ve actually been on the wrong road for some time now, essentially adding an extra hour to the drive. You are annoyed with yourself for doing it and your passengers aren’t exactly pleased about having to spend even more time in the car. Someone says something about how you should have been paying attention, one thing leads to another and before you know it everyone in the car is shouting their mouth off. It’s not pleasant but it certainly is easy set off.

*Through gritted teeth* Look here you idiot, this is where you should have turned.

This is easily solved though, you can pick up a decent Sat-Nav for a very reasonable price these days and a lot of newer cars come with a built in system too. Even if you don’t have access to any of that, there is something to be said for printing out the route instructions on a bit of paper, it won’t run out of battery and often it’s all you need. That being said, you could probably just shell out for a Sat-Nav, they really are worth it.

2) Bad Driving Habits – 22%

Another fairly obvious one, although the percentage is higher than I imagined it would be. Being in the car with someone who, while they might be trying their best, could do with a refresher course on rules of the road can not only be very annoying but also quite dangerous. The issue is that while the passenger feels like the driver needs to know where they are making mistakes, this is probably the last thing the driver needs right now. People do not take driving criticism well, it only takes one unfortunately worded remark to set off a huge row and now the driver is making more mistakes because they are busy arguing. C’est la vie.

Come on, not while you are driving

There isn’t much that can be done about this, save being somewhat passive aggressive about the problem and buying the driver some advanced driving lessons for Christmas, “I hope you like them honey, I just want you to be safe!”.  That’s not going to cut it buddy, she sees right through you. It’s a rookie mistake and you just hate to see it.

3) Length of Journey – 13%

I can personally attest to this one irritating me and it doesn’t matter whether you’re driving or a passenger, it’s horrible either way. Short journeys are fine, you are having a pleasant enough time driving your car and checking out the surroundings, it’s the long journeys that are really bad. I think part of the problem is the roads, motorways are boring, they just are, it’s the same grey blur with a green border for mile upon mile. There is rarely anything nice to look at so you start getting irritable because you are bored, this leads to fidgeting and not being able to get comfortable, compounding the problem.

The passenger is in the same boat, getting restless and tetchy. In a situation like this you don’t even need a reason to kick off, it could have been something that happened a week ago that tips everyone over the edge and off we go.

We’re nearly there, just over those mountains.

While there is little than anyone can do to shorten the length of the journey, there are some things that will make it more bearable. How comfortable the car is will likely put off this problem for a while at least, it’s much nicer doing a long journey is a car with nice seats and softer suspension than it is to do one in your friends lowered Seat Ibiza that has so much tyre roar it sounds like a 747 is taking off inside the car. You know who you are.

A nice sound and infotainment system is certainly going to improve this situation, giving the passenger something to do and providing something to break up the mind numbing monotony of the motor way for the driver. There is one thing that used to keep me from going insane on a long drive and that was an audiobook. Trust me, having an engaging story to listen to while you are on the road not only makes a long journey bearable but I’ve actually found myself sitting in the car for a few minutes after I’ve arrived to find out what happens next!

4) Music Choice – 12%

I was not expecting this one to be so prevalent considering how easily it can be resolved, that being said I can kind of understand not being happy about music choice but to have an actual argument over it seems odd. Anyway, clearly people are getting upset about it. There seems to be a sort of unwritten rule that the driver drives and the passenger rides shotgun and acts as a DJ for the trip. But what if your passenger is in to acid jazz? That’s when you’ve got yourself a problem.

Stop, just stop. Like, what are you even doing?

I’m not going to explain to you why having someone who likes acid jazz in control of the music is a problem, that should be obvious really. When you are on a long journey, you want music that is going to keep you relaxed or something you can bob your head to, this is not acid jazz.

There are a few ways you can stop this argument from happening, first one and personally my favourite, don’t be friends with anyone who likes acid jazz, easy peasy. Secondly, bring your own CDs or iPod, the chances of a passenger having the stones to change where the music is coming from is slim. Third, probably the most diplomatic of all the options, is to spend a bit of time before the trip starts and agree on the kind of music you would like to listen to. Who has time for that though? Not me that’s for sure, I’ll take the first option because acid jazz sucks.

5) Too Much Noise – 11%

These weren’t my three friends but the way they were acting, they weren’t far off.

Too much noise is a difficult one to pin down, too much noise from what? Too much noise from the car, too much noise from the kids or too much noise from the passenger? Who knows? I certainly don’t, so let’s just assume it’s too much noise from all of them.

People being too loud in the car is one of my pet peeves, it is seriously distracting when people are shouting in the car behind your head. It’s even distracting when two other people are having a slightly louder than normal conversation and God forbid if you have picked your three drunk friends up from town, you’re lucky if they even stay in their seats. It’s annoying because you can’t concentrate on what you are supposed to be doing and that means making decisions takes longer and you make mistakes which is annoying and then you start to lose your temper. Easily done.

If you have an inherently noisy car then there probably is not a lot that can be done about it. If you’ve done things to your car to make it noisy then you have no one but yourself to blame.

Next time you feel an argument beginning to brew up in the car, take a moment to think back and try and come to some kind of resolution. Distracted drivers are dangerous drivers. If you absolutely have to argue, take it to the next service station, shirts off and settle it like real men.


Fancy some more distractions from that work you should be doing?

Six (More) Car Myths

Four Driving Phobias That Make Modern Life Hell

Privacy policy
By continuing to use our website you agree to our privacy policy.
To give you the best possible experience, this site uses cookies. If you continue to browse our website we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies.