Stress and strains of staycation driving
Survey reveals the main areas of contention behind the wheel of holiday escapes
With summer in full swing, UK Dash Cam brand Nextbase and Sheffield Hallam University have carried out a study to reveal the nation’s driving habits and opinions. This comes as the country prepares for what promises to be the busiest time ever on UK roads.
As the nation embraces its biggest summer staycation spree in recent history, two thirds (66%) of Brits will be opting for a UK staycation this year. It will involve travelling an average of four hours per journey. A small minority, one in ten (10%) families, are opting for more than six hours travelling with their loved ones. In total, the nation will spend approx. 1.8 billion hours travelling in their cars this summer. Undoubtedly it will involve battling diverse weather conditions, back seat drivers and rather confusing road signs.
Devon and Cornwall are the favoured destinations, closely followed by London and Yorkshire.
The new research revealed that stresses surrounding travel are high despite the allure of freedom. When questioned about the biggest distractions, 30% of drivers stated that other drivers will be.
Nearly a third (30%) of UK drivers voted their partner as the most stressful travel companion. A quarter (23%) chose babies and toddlers as the biggest stress testers, while 20% blamed their own friends for their travel troubles.
Almost a quarter (24%) of drivers said that their childrens’ behaviour has a negative impact on their driving. This is followed by almost one fifth (17%) who admit arguments lead to bad driving decisions.
There are simple ways to combat these stresses, such as playing music or podcasts in the car. However, while these can prove a source of calmness, they are based on personal preference. Deciding who has control over what plays can cause arguments. More than half (56%) of drivers refuse to let any passengers control the airwaves.
Confusing signs affect almost one third (30%) of motorists. Half (50%) of drivers agree that they do not like travelling in bad weather.
TOP 5 STRESSES FOR DRIVERS THIS SUMMER
|Babies and toddlers||23%|
|Parents and in-laws||15%|
Dr Lambros Lazuras, Associate Professor of Social Psychology at Sheffield Hallam, commented: “The research has shown that distractions can lead to driver stress, which in turn can increase the likelihood of a traffic crash.
“It is key to plan in-vehicle activities to keep passengers, especially younger children occupied and calm.
“Co-develop a car music playlist ahead of the trip that everyone enjoys, download it and let it roll when the trip commences.
“Try and plan the road trip together so that everyone feels involved and excited. Ensure everyone has a share of music choice along the way or change the scene with a bit of comedy.
“Keep conversations light-hearted and try not to delve into political conversations which will keep the trip fun and engaging for everyone.”
Bryn Booker, head of marketing and road safety at Nextbase, said: “We know that motorists are going to feel a lot more anxious about getting out on the roads this summer, especially with how lockdown has affected driving skills and patience on the roads as many have been driving less.
“However, there are precautions and safety measures every driver can take to make sure they stay safe whilst driving during the summer holidays.
“With more than 1.8bn hours spent on the roads this summer it is vital that drivers maintain their concentration and are free from distractions.”