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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

take a backseat

1. To be deemed less important than something else. Unfortunately, I had the flu last week, so everything else around the house had to take a back seat.
2. To willingly forgo a prominent role in some area. I took a back seat during the presentation because I knew you could handle it.
See also: backseat, take

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

take a backseat (to someone or something)

Fig. to become less important than someone or something else. My homework had to take a backseat to football during the playoffs. Jimmy always took a backseat to his older brother, Bill, until Bill went away to college.
See also: backseat, take

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

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 ?
BUCKLE UP: Backseat passengers using seat belts were 2 to 3 times more likely to survive than were unbuckled ones.
The spam backlash will reach full force, and spam will be relegated to the backseat of marketing history, right where it belongs
Consumers interested in learning more about the Ford 400 Sweepstakes which is open until September 30th, and Mustang Fragrances' Adventures from the Backseat should visit www.
org and Sprint have developed two campaigns, Thumb Wars and Backseat Adviser ,that use fun, engaging content instead of fear tactics to get young people to start the conversation about texting and driving with their friends.
Dubai: A lawyer lambasted a driver and accused him of telling lies by fabricating a story about a drunk couple getting naked and having sex in his taxi's backseat.
19 ( ANI ): A drunk couple, who were accused of being naked and indulging in an alleged sexual activity in a taxi's backseat in Dubai, has denied the claims.
No, I will not be a backseat driver," he told delegates at the Arabian Business Forum at Dubai's swish Armani Hotel yesterday.
Comments from backseat drivers come a close second for a huge 28% of drivers.
But one female fan freaked out Col, 33, by sneaking past security on the set of his new movie, and jumping in his backseat.
TOKYO - Significantly more backseat passengers are wearing seat belts since doing so became mandatory under the revised road traffic law in June this year, according to a nationwide survey released Thursday.
It follows more than a dozen accidents in the last two weeks in which children aged 12 or under suffered concussion or bruising while travelling in the backseat.
Saunders' impressive rookie season took a backseat to the accomplishments of Jered Weaver.
A recent study shows that the passengers in a car's center backseat were -- percent more likely to survive a crash than side backseat riders.
However, that past-life vision and its effect on Regina and Blue's budding romance takes a backseat to the many social and political questions the book raises, such as whether of not a man's private life should impact his legacy, how greed and ambition threaten to overshadow the common good, and the role private citizens should take in improving their neighborhoods.