62% of people report that they regularly travel as car passengers and Allianz Insurance believes ‘Passenger Pressure’ could play a major role in making Britain’s roads safer; but only if people are prepared to speak up and overcome their British reserve.
Reasons for keeping quiet include the driver is doing the passenger a favour (47%), passengers don’t want to upset drivers whilst they’re driving (40%) and 12% simply don’t have the confidence to say what they really think.
When it comes to who’s behind the wheel, 50% of people stated that friends made them feel the most unsafe in comparison to their partners (17%). Only 16% would be comfortable to ask their friend to stop tailgating, not even half (34%) would feel confident to ask them to slow down and only 19% would ask them to concentrate on the road.
But it seems that drivers wouldn’t be as sensitive to ‘Passenger Pressure’ as people may think. When surveyed, a huge 67% of drivers responded that if their driving was causing their passenger anxiety they wouldn’t object at being told, and 94% confirmed that they would change their driving behaviour if they were asked to.
Alan Gairns, product manager at Allianz, said: “Whilst drivers don’t want a running commentary on their driving, the results of the research clearly show that drivers will change their driving behaviour if a passenger is feeling anxious. Passengers shouldn’t be afraid to voice their concerns and who knows, it could be the difference between being involved in an accident or getting to your destination safely.”
There is certainly plenty of other chat going on in cars though. Whether it’s a journey with a friend, partner or colleague, there’s always something else to talk about, with Allianz’s research revealing that family (73%), work (53%) and gossip (45%) are the top three topics.
In fact, even if there isn’t plenty to talk about, 10% of Brits admit they feel obliged to make conversation during a car journey.
Alan Gairns added: “Our research shows that 59% of drivers wouldn’t feel distracted by an anxious passenger asking them to drive more carefully so we would encourage passengers to speak up and be a useful back seat driver rather than a master of small talk.”
Allianz Insurance is one of the largest general insurers in the UK and part of the Allianz SE Group, the largest property and casualty insurer worldwide.
Around 85 million private and corporate customers rely on Allianz's knowledge, global reach, capital strength and solidity to help them make the most of financial opportunities and to avoid and safeguard themselves against risks.
Notes to editors:
- Allianz carried out the research between 18 May – 20 May 2016.
- The survey questioned 2000 UK adults.
 Partner statistics – Tailgating 29%, slow down 60%, concentrate on the road 35%