Couples have many normal types of arguments that can be productive, but one of the most pointless types of arguments is about driving. Driving arguments are senseless because they are avoidable and easily settled when couples are committed and respectful of each other.
Many couples spend a lot of time together riding in a car. Frequently, couples alternate driving, but it is not unusual for one partner to like to drive while the other prefers to be a passenger. It is also common for men and women to take different approaches to driving. Disagreements occur. Arguments can be avoided.
Disagreements take the form of comments or criticisms about speed (too slow or too fast), changing lanes, tailgating, road rage in mild to severe forms, rolling stops, the best route to get where you are going, and other preferences or differences between couple's driving habits. If one partner engages in long phone/texting conversations in the car, it can leave the silent partner feeling ignored. Even conditions such as temperature control, listening choice, and volume level can be issues when couples are together in a car, especially for long periods of time.
Absurd debates about which way is better, faster, shorter, less traffic, and more convenient can often set couples up for conflict. When advice, GPS, maps, and asking for directions are ignored, getting lost becomes laced with rounds of I-told-you-so's. These arguments are undesirable and unnecessary.
Preventing and settling all driving arguments is important for safety reasons and to preserve respect, peace, and pleasantness. So why do couples offer negative/constructive comments about the other one's driving? Two reasons stand out above all the others: Safety or fear, and simply the I-know-better-and-am-right rationale.
Years ago, my husband and I recognized that neither of us felt comfortable with the other's driving under all road and traffic conditions. Rather than have repetitive (and often petty) debates, we set up our own rules of the road, which became our private pact that, without question or challenge, we would respect the safety concerns (and, unfortunately, sometimes spontaneous outbursts) of our partner when riding together. We agreed to agree that any type of driving which made one of us uncomfortable (or downright scared) needed to be changed immediately.