Fleet News

Driving with your partner ‘increases’ accident risk

Fleet news logo

Drivers are happier, more confident and focused when driving by themselves according to research released today by Allianz Insurance.

The research found that the presence of a ‘significant other’ almost quadruples a drivers’ likelihood of feeling stressed or anxious behind the wheel, a potentially dangerous combination.

Having their partner in the car makes drivers feel twice as rushed, which reduces the chance of them feeling calm and relaxed by nearly 65%. Allianz Insurance says this increases the risk of having an accident.

In fact drivers told Allianz Insurance that the addition of any passenger increases their stress levels, and the top five passengers most likely to cause driver stress are:

1. Partner
2. Other people’s children
3. Own children
4. Parents
5. Other family members

Jon Dye, CEO of Allianz Insurance, said: “The tales of back seat drivers and in-car arguments we’re all so familiar with, cause stress and distraction when drivers should be feeling calm and focused.

“It’s important that motorists and their partners are aware of the risks a stressful environment in a vehicle can create.”

When it comes to where drivers feel most stressed it is city centres (18%). In contrast the calmest drivers (52%) can be found on Britain’s country roads.

Commuting to and from work (15%), driving to appointments such as visiting the doctor (15%) and driving children to school (11%) are when drivers feel most rushed.

Click here for safety and risk management best practice and procurement insight

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


  • GrumpyOldMen - 15/05/2014 12:08

    Can't wait for the legislation from Brussels. Not sure the wife will believe me though.

  • Alan Scott-Davies - 15/05/2014 13:28

    I think this is an excellent article that rings true on so many levels. I can tell you from experience that the following scenario is not uncommon. A husband is driving the family car with his wife and children as passengers. The [adults] are having an argument and at some point they are involved in a collision where there is an allegation of negligence against the husband for causing the RTC. The wife and children all suffer some injuries. There is nothing to prevent them from suing the husband/father in negligence for their injuries. It really does happen but the interesting legal issue is what level of contributory negligence might a Judge make against the wife for allegedly being partly responsible for her injuries if she was a significant cause of the incident due to their argument in the first place. Then there is the potential criminal issue of driving without due care, potential civil claims if any third party is injured, increase in next years insurance premiums perhaps.........and the argument that led to the incident is suddenly put into perspective. The lesson is that if you're going to argue stop the car and make up. The alternative can be costly!

  • Tom Brown - 15/05/2014 13:52

    Case law is already on the books with regards the potential of contributing negligence by a passenger should it be deemed he/she contributed to a collision. However, as we all know too well, driving is a tough and stressful environment and drivers need to treat passengers like other risks and handle them accordingly. I bit of introspection here I think!.

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee