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What do I do?

(76 Posts)
TwinLolly Tue 25-Aug-20 23:07:22

DH uses his mobile phone for satnav purposes, having the TomTom app on it. He has the phone attached to the dashboard near the steering wheel so it is close by.

Unfortunately he has got a habit of zooming in and out of the route to see where we are in our journeys. He delves into the programme to set our destination by the shortest route, toll-free routes, etc. All of the above when driving, mainly on long journeys.

I feel so unsafe when he does it. And I have spoken to him about it, the fact that he shouldn't be fiddling with his phone even though it is only the satnav programme, and have asked him to pull over if he wants to fiddle with the programme but I get "I'm nearly done". If I volunteer to do the fiddling, he doesn't like it because he 'knows what he is doing'. Unfortunately we are living in France and I'm not used to driving on the right hand side of the road in a British registered car. (I'll have to bite the bullet to have a go though.)

He doesn't listen to me.

I don't want to end up in an accident if he is the one that causes it! (I'm considering making sure that I word my Will to the effect that if I die because he's caused an accident - he won't get anything and it all goes to my sister.)

If he won't listen, what can I do - apart from asking him to stop the car and threatening to walk home (which is usually far...).?

Doodledog Tue 25-Aug-20 23:18:48

Can you refuse to get into the car with him unless he promises not to do it? That way you won't have to walk home because you've got out, and he will know you mean business.

It also means that you will have to have a conversation about it all when he is not in the middle of driving. My husband hates anyone 'telling him what to do' when he is driving, as he says that he is responsible for everyone in the car so needs to make all of the decisions. He's perfectly reasonable otherwise, though.

welbeck Wed 26-Aug-20 02:45:39

don't get in the car with him.
if you are in the car can you remove the phone from its holder. does it speak out the directions, in which case he does not need to be looking at it.
you just have to be a bit more proactive, and take some responsibility. he is not your parent. you are not a child.
make a decision and carry it out.
read up on assertiveness.

welbeck Wed 26-Aug-20 02:49:56

actually i think it is safer not to get in the car with him.
not only for you. but him and other road users also.
he may get agitated if you interfere with it while driving.
that could be dangerous.
so don't collude in this dangerous practice by not consenting to be carried.
make a decision and stick to it. find other pastimes. pay a french driving instructor to give you a lesson and advice.

TwinLolly Wed 26-Aug-20 08:22:13

Thank you for your advice. Yes, a few lessons with a French driving instructor would help - just to get confidence in driving on the other side of the road. Also refusing to get in the car with him.

welbeck the phone does speak the directions but DH still likes to see where we are in relation to our final destination. Grrrrr....

Oopsadaisy4 Wed 26-Aug-20 08:31:15

Isn’t it illegal?

Next time he starts with the SatNav, take it off of him and throw it onto the back seat don’t let him kill you in an accident.

TwinLolly Wed 26-Aug-20 08:54:23

Oopsadaisy4 I would say it would be illegal because, although it is not in his hand - it is stuck on the dash with a magnet - he is still fiddling with it.

Fortunately he uses blue tooth for incoming calls or gets me to dial a number then he will speak on the phone via blue tooth linked to the car speakers. But incoming/outgoing calls are extremely rare.

I had thought of filming footage of him fiddling with his phone and sending it in to the DVLA or police but handling it personally should the first option!

welbeck Wed 26-Aug-20 15:28:46

do you live in france.
if so does he have the correct driving licence.
i believe that people who drive on overseas licences here have to get a uk one after one year.
maybe if you could find some regulation that h is not complying with, that could be a way to stymie him.

Jaxjacky Wed 26-Aug-20 16:18:28

€135 fine for any use of mobile phone in the car, this now includes if pulled over with or without hazards on, the only exception is if you have broken down.
If you have a French license, three points.

fevertree Wed 26-Aug-20 16:25:32

Yikes the need for zooming in and out would make me think he can't see properly! I would feel very unsafe. Without a doubt, if he is fiddling with a phone, his attention is distracted from his driving.

I don't know what you can do other than be prepared for a proper row about it when you refuse to get in the car. Hopefully that will work.

Good luck.

EllanVannin Wed 26-Aug-20 17:26:38

Buy a Tom Tom sat nav.

Lucca Wed 26-Aug-20 17:32:47


Buy a Tom Tom sat nav.

Op said that’s what they have I think.

Lucca Wed 26-Aug-20 17:33:11

Agree with others. Assert yourself !

silverlining48 Wed 26-Aug-20 18:52:43

I think its an app on his phone so doesn't sound like they have a proper sat nav. We have a satnav and it gets set up prior to journey and isn't interfered with en route. Suggest op gets one. I would be extra nervous given they are in France.

midgey Wed 26-Aug-20 19:40:09

It’s six points on your licence and two hundred pounds fixed penalty now. The law prohibits you interacting with your device. So... not only dangerous but illegal!

Glorybee Wed 26-Aug-20 20:05:54

Yes, as Lucca and others say, assert yourself. I knew an elderly couple whose wife wouldn’t get in the car when her husband drove as she considered him dangerous and sadly, he did die in a car crash.

TwinLolly Wed 26-Aug-20 20:17:36

welbeck DH has a British driving licence (we both do) and the car is British registered. The car insurance is through a very good company that doesn't limit us as to how long we are away from the UK.

No matter what, road rules are rules and apply in every country, I'm sure, about safe driving; stopping if you have to use the phone, interacting with your device, etc.

So... I will stand my ground now - thanks to your advice from all of you. And if that doesn't work then I will have to report him. I love him but not enough to die for.

Thanks again everyone.

Barmeyoldbat Wed 26-Aug-20 20:38:15

Take the phone and sat nav from their holders and take charge of them, would that work?

MerylStreep Wed 26-Aug-20 20:50:29

You say he zooms in/out to see where he is on the journey.
To keep the peace ( and avoid a divorce) how about you track the journey on a good old fashioned road map.
I've lost count of the times we've driven to Spain over the past 10 years but I like to look at a paper map to see where we are.
I like looking at maps.

MerylStreep Wed 26-Aug-20 20:53:02

I meant to add that we've had some humdingers of rows where I've known that the satnav is wrong. But OH thinks she's the font of all knowledge where directions are concerned 😉

TwinLolly Wed 26-Aug-20 21:11:40

MerylStreep Good idea.thanks I love map reading and we do keep a map in the car, just in case.... So I'll get it from the back seat (strapped in so it doesn't wander!) and keep it beside me.

FarNorth Wed 26-Aug-20 21:50:33

Have a conversation about this when you are not in the car.
Explain how you feel about the dangers.
Tell him you will not be getting in the car until he assures you he will not be fiddling with the phone.
Tell him you considered changing your will, but instead decided to avoid the risk of him killing you.

Then stick to what you said.

Grannynannywanny Thu 27-Aug-20 07:31:54

TwinLolly I understand your concern. My son set up google maps navigation system on my phone and a bracket on the dashboard. It’s great in unfamiliar areas but I found it a major distraction as any seconds peering at that is time my eyes are off the road.
I don’t use the bracket now and keep the phone down by the handbrake and just listen to the audio. I think looking at and fiddling with satnav while driving is as dangerous as reading a text message and that’s something we’d never do. It’s much safer just listening to it.

Ladyleftfieldlover Thu 27-Aug-20 07:42:41

Assertiveness is the name of the game here. I would absolutely refuse to be driven in these circumstances. Having said that I do most of the driving anyway. I always have. I passed my test before my OH and my father taught him to drive. I would much rather drive and I am the worst passenger in the world!

Juicylucy Thu 27-Aug-20 09:39:47

Get assertive just refuse to go out on the day trip with him, say “sorry I’ve had enough,I’ve tried telling you how I feel and you don’t take my feelings into consideration so I’m not getting in the car with you.”
End off. Stand your ground. It will be boring if he’s forced to go on his own as he probably won’t go at all. Don’t give in until he listens it’s much better than reporting him especially in a foreign country you don’t know the implications.