backseat driver

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backseat driver

1. A passenger in a vehicle (not necessarily in the backseat) who attempts to instruct the driver or criticize their driving skills. John quickly became annoyed at Mary's tendency to become a backseat driver whenever he drove her somewhere, so he just began to let her drive.
2. By extension, someone who tries to establish and maintain control over every situation. Primarily heard in US. Although Mary was capable of completing the project on her own, John couldn't stop himself from being a backseat driver and telling her what to do.
See also: backseat, driver

backseat driver

Fig. an annoying passenger who tells the driver how to drive; someone who tells others how to do things. I don't need any backseat driver on this project. Stop pestering me with all your advice. Nobody likes a backseat driver!
See also: backseat, driver

backseat driver

A passenger who gives unwanted and/or unneeded directions to the driver; also, a person who interferes in affairs without having knowledge, responsibility, or authority for doing so. For example, Aunt Mary drives us all crazy with her instructions; she's an incurable backseat driver. This term originated in the United States in the 1920s, when it was first used for a passenger legitimately directing a chauffeur, and it was quickly transferred to figurative use. Also see the synonym Monday-morning quarterback and the antonym take a back seat.
See also: backseat, driver

a back-seat driver

COMMON
1. If you call a passenger in a car a back-seat driver, you mean that they keep telling the driver what to do. My mother is a terrible back-seat driver, especially when my sister is at the wheel.
2. If you call someone, especially a politician, a back-seat driver, you mean that they are trying to influence or control a situation that should be controlled by someone else. They accused the former prime minister of being a backseat driver. Note: This expression is used to show disapproval.
See also: driver

a back-seat driver

1 a passenger in a vehicle who constantly gives the driver unwanted advice on how to drive. 2 someone who lectures and criticizes the person actually in control of something.
See also: driver

a ˌback-seat ˈdriver

(disapproving)
1 a passenger in a vehicle who keeps giving advice to the driver about how he or she should drive
2 a person who wants to be in control of something that is not really their responsibility: There are too many back-seat drivers in this department. This is my project and I’m the one who’s in charge!
See also: driver

backseat driver

n. an annoying passenger who tells the driver how to drive; someone who tells others how to do things. I don’t need any backseat driver on this project.
See also: backseat, driver
References in periodicals archive ?
These distractions mean that 20% of British motorists will have to fork out up to Au500 to repair accidental damages 'caused' by back seat drivers in their driving life.
Back seat drivers too have benefited as the rear seatbacks now recline.
The touch-screen controls are easily operated for climate control, navigational needs and music systems and any back seat drivers can be kept quiet with their very own individual multi-media systems.
Back seat drivers, too, have benefited in the new car as the rear seat backs now recline.
Back seat drivers too have bene-fitted in the new car as the rear seatbacks now recline.
Three in five motorists are being driven to distraction by nuisance passengers such as naughty children, back seat drivers and nagging mothers-in-law, a survey said this week.
It's official: back seat drivers are more of a hindrance than a help.
The space is generous for the driver and front passenger and the back seat drivers have adequate leg room and lots of space to sit back and enjoy the ride.
As soon as we were underway the comments came thick and fast from the back seat drivers.
Back seat drivers will also be pleased that the front head restraints are as narrow as possible, as it allows them to see not only the road ahead but also keep on eye on navigational progress.
There is a spacious feel to the interior which in turn encourages even the most nervous back seat drivers to relax.
The AA is supporting a Department of Transport campaign called "Belt up - for everyone's sake", which plays on the running jokes about back seat drivers.
In the meantime, we'll have to rely on friends and relatives to be the back seat drivers.
Sir Bill added: "I hope the Prime Minister doesn't bring back the back seat drivers.
It's a must for all back seat drivers and Formula 1 fans.