What kind of a passenger are you?

After reading the driving threads I started wondering, how about passengers. Am I the only neurotic passenger out there?

Then again, it depends on the driver. If I’m in the vehicle with my brother as the driver (we work at the same place and often pop out for lunch) I’m fine. Not a care in the world.

But if hubby is doing the driving I’m a basket-case. Though I don’t think he’s a bad driver I just can’t help but feel that we’re going to go careening off the road at every curve. I’ve never known anyone who accelerates so fast - he’ll be doing 80 before we’re completely across the intersection. (Oh, that km/hr btw.) And he’s a fiddler - open the glove box for a candy, clip the cell phone on the belt, talking with hand-motions makes all make me want to scream BOTH HANDS ON THE WHEEL AT ALL TIMES. Though I keep my mouth shut, it’s obvious that I’m a nervous wreck by my “brake pedal” and handle gripping motions.

I’m not a nervous driver and prefer to be the driver whenever possible. Many of my co-workers have also mentioned that their spouses “scare the bejeesus” outta them too.

So, what kind of passenger are you?

The world’s worst.

I clutch the armrest; I hit the “invisible brake,” I make involuntary gasping noises . . . I am basically terrified in cars.

If I can get away with it, I sleep while in the passenger seat. Otherwise, I am pretty calm.
My step-daughter will be getting her learners permit this spring. I am looking forward to letting her drive.

A terrified one. I’m also an infrequent one. I travel by car approximately every three months or so. This means that I have no conception of basic car etiquette, like how to find door and window handles. I usually look like a complete klutz getting into and out of the car.

That being said, I have a rule that as a non-driver, I have no say in the actions of the driver. I keep my mouth shut, although I do the involuntary gasps, white knuckle grasps and other moves that annoy the driver. The only two exceptions to this are that I insist that everyone wear seatbelts and that the driver not be talking on a cellphone (O.K., insist may be a little strong. I made my sister promise not to talk on the phone while driving, but she did it anyway, and at that point I didn’t really have any recourse.)

Most of the time, I prefer a nice friendly bus.

A damn quiet one.

I’m pretty good, but I will speak up if I think someone is driving too fast.

I had a neighbor while growing up that would fiddle with things on the driver’s left (in the US, so the stuff all the way across the steering wheel). I would have killed him.

I love riding in cars! It’s just like sitting in the living room or wherever talking to someone, except you can’t get up and move whenever you want. I’m never nervous when I’m a passenger, except in the case of one friend who feels the need to accelerate quickly and ride people’s butts just a little too close for my comfort. And if its a long car trip, its nap time, baby!

Since I carpool to school, and since my house is quite a ways from school, I sleep in the backseat of my mother’s van.

I am the kind of passenger that is inside a moving vehicle but not driving it.

Being serious - I am a very very contented passenger. I have always loved being in the back of cars and just staring out of the window. For me it is better to travel than to arrive. Very theraputic.

I’m generally a bit nervy as a passenger. I do the invisible brake thing sometimes, but I tend to try to act calm for the benefit of the driver, even if I’m not. There are only two people I know (both good friends of mine) in whose cars I can truly relax in the passenger seat.

Now the worst passenger in the world is my sister. She is so fucking bad that she’s a danger to the driver. She’ll be sitting in the passenger seat, and all of a sudden scream out of nowhere, and at the top of her lungsCHRIST! LOOK OUT! right in my ear. Peoples, this is a Bad Thing[sup]TM[/sup] to do to a person in control of a motor vehicle, especially when the perceived danger turns out to be a car turning 100 metres away or something.

Driving my sister, I end up a nervous wreck, then I start making little mistakes. Then she gets more nervous, and it’s just this horrible snowballing effect.

I like passengers who don’t know how to drive. They behave themselves. Well, my sister doesn’t know how to drive either, but she’s still been doing it for ten years… :smiley:

Generally, I’m pretty relaxed about it. I don’t ride around with idiots anymore.

During the years I drove a taxicab, though, I really did not like to ride as a passsenger. Because I spent so much time behind the wheel, I think it just felt alien to not be the one in control of the car.

I always drive myself everywhere, so on the rare occasions that I’m a passenger it’s usually because I’m drunk.

Thus, I’m not a good one.

Also, I travel by car as a passenger so infrequently that I tend to get motion sickness pretty much as soon as the vehicle moves. If I’m the one driving, it never happens.

I confess. Riding in a car with anyone other than my husband or mother drives me out of my brain, sets my nerves on edge and has me clawing at the dashboard. Yes, I am a control freak.

I’ve learned that a little bitty Ativan goes a long way toward making my passenger experience much nicer :smiley:

I’m a fine passenger. I just sit back and relax and look around. In fact the reason I have a small two door car is so if a goup goes out I usually don’t end up driving. Unless the person is a really bad driver, I’m fine with being a passenger rather than driver.

I’m a terrible passenger. Basically, it’s because I’m a control freak.

And you know what really makes me snap, I mean go completely unhinged? It’s the gaspers and the screamers. Rule #1 is “Never, ever make a sound while I’m driving that implies danger unless the danger is absolutely real”. Just because I brake late doesn’t mean I’m out of control. Rule #2: “If you break Rule #1 I will ream you a new asshole”. I have unintentionally almost made my wife cry before. It’s unintentional because it’s a Fight-or-Flight response. Making me think I’m gonna have an accident when I’m not even close will scare the bejeebers out of me, and my reaction will definitely scare the bejeebers out of you.

A cheerful, fatalistic one. I reason I have no control over the driver’s actions, so there’s no point getting agitated and stressed. Plus, I figure even the most unsafe driver is only VERY rarely involved in accidents, so really the risk is too small to bother getting worked up over. I look out the window, start a conversation or play mental games to distract myself, if need be.

Besides, I think an angsty, nervous passenger is more likely to make a bad driver worse.

I’m a terribly nervous passenger. I don’t gasp or squeal, usually, but I do clutch the handle and press the invisible brake. Sometimes I put my hands out to brace myself against the dash. Drives my wife freakin’ nuts. I try to modulate as best I can, but it’s really hard.

When I have a choice, I prefer to sit in the back. For some reason, the additional distance between myself and the front of the vehicle provides some psychological comfort. I always volunteer to sit in the back if somebody else is there to take the front, and I usually get a nod of recognition when I say I’m an anxious passenger. If I’m the only passenger, I have to sit in front, of course.

Man, I suck as a passenger. When I get out of the car, you can see where my butt cheeks have squenched up the seat cushion. Everyone always seems to tailgate too close, change lanes without looking, not notice braking cars, fail to predict the actions of other drivers, etc.

I definately, definately prefer to be the driver.

I’m a relaxed passenger. I really don’t even pay much attention to the road. I sort of zone out and daydream or talk to the driver. My husband annoys me when he’s driving - he fiddles. He’ll get his wallet out of his pocket, mess around with the radio, search for CDs, wait until he’s moving to put his seatbelt on, etc., etc. This drives me absolutely insane, because why couldn’t he do these things when he’s at a stoplight or not moving?? It doesn’t scare me, though, just annoys me.

My husband, on the other hand, is one of those passengers who will actually grab the steering wheel if he thinks I’m going to run off the road or something (totally in his imagination :slight_smile: ). He’s even reached over and honked the horn at someone while I was driving. That only happened once, though - I was pretty clear that it wouldn’t happen again.

Heh, thanks C3. That just gave me my biggest smile of the day.