Q I can't remember you ever printing a series on the frustrations with people who "drive" no matter what seat they're in. It drives me crazy, and it's disrespectful to the real driver, because they are showing a lack of confidence in the driver's ability. I'm not necessarily saying my wife is one of the worst offenders. OK, I am. You can help by telling us your thoughts.

By the way, for my health, my last name shouldn't be printed!

David

San Jose

A David, you are one brave husband. What is the Mrs. going to say when she reads this? And trust me, she'll figure this out. Wives are very good at that.

Annoyed? Not at all. Gary Richards has no complaints about his wife’s driving.
Annoyed? Not at all. Gary Richards has no complaints about his wife's driving. (Mercury News archives)

Mrs. Roadshow has been driving me almost everywhere for the past year since my medical problems began and the doctor put my right foot in a protective boot knocking me out of the driver's seat. So I am not going to second-guess her behind-the-wheel habits. I will say this: She is far more aware of her surroundings than am I.

But spouses are the most annoying back-seat drivers, followed by mothers, according to Insurance.com's "Worst backseat drivers" survey conducted earlier this year. Commenting on driving speed is the most annoying thing passengers do, followed by giving directions, talking too much and pushing an imaginary brake with their foot.


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Making faces and gestures and screaming also ranked high on the irritable list. Driving experts recommend that opinionated passengers should try sitting in the back seat or use deep-breathing techniques.

Ha! Imagine asking the Mrs. to sit in the back seat!

Q My wife is a good driver. She pays attention, signals meticulously and is considerate to others. But she has a habit that drives me bananas.

She constantly varies her speed, as much as 10 mph, from 60 to 70 mph and back. This causes others to pass her, sometimes on both sides. When I'm driving alone, this failure to "keep it up" by other drivers is simply maddening.

Gary, please do not use my name. I don't need any domestic problems and she's a truly wonderful woman whom I adore.

A worried but loving husband

A Praise her for all the right things she does for several days. No criticism.

Then in a calm voice tell her that Mr. Roadshow said keeping a constant speed and staying in the proper lane are two of the best ways to help the flow of traffic move most efficiently. Let me take the heat.

Q To settle an argument at our house -- rather in our car -- what is the proper procedure on approaching a yellow light at an intersection? To stop or to speed through?

Nancy and Paul Svenson

Fremont

A It depends on how close to the light you are, but don't speed up to beat the red. Either keep a constant speed through the yellow or slow down and stop.

Q How we drive is very sensitive -- especially when our spouse is in the car. We have a great marriage, but when it comes to driving it becomes a little tense at times.

Betsy Flores

A Maybe for good reason. A survey by Insure.com concluded that spouses often keep secrets when it comes to driving -- like 35 percent having dinged the car and blaming it on someone else, while another 25 percent said they'd received a traffic ticket and kept it secret from their spouse.

Men have a higher propensity for lying across the board. When results for wives vs. husbands were examined, Insure.com found that 42 percent of men dinged the car and blamed someone else, compared to 27 percent of women.

Any more husband-wife driving disputes I should know about? Send them my way.

Q Are recumbent trikes allowed in bike lanes? I'd like to use one for short trips and errands -- easier on the aging body than my elderly Motobecane bicycle. My husband thinks it would be illegal in bike lanes and on the sidewalks, and too hazardous to take on the street with the low profile. Any thoughts?

Karla Burns

Campbell

A The hubby is wrong. Yes, it's legal. Tricycles that are human-powered are treated as bicycles and allowed in bike lanes.

Follow Gary Richards at Twitter.com/mrroadshow, look for him at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5335. The fax number is 408-288-8060.