- New research to mark International Stress Awareness Week uncovers what causes our blood pressure to rise on the roads
- Over half (55%) find parking so anxiety-inducing that they’d rather park further away from their destination to avoid a tricky manoeuvre
- CarStore shares top tips and guidance on how to best manage stress behind the wheel
Friday 4th November 2022: More than a quarter (27%) of UK motorists find getting behind the wheel more stressful than work, a new survey commission by CarStore* for International Stress Awareness Week (7th – 11th November) has revealed today.
CarStore, the experts in quality used cars, has found that nearly 1 in 6 motorists (16%) admit ‘driving’ is the most stressful part of their day – more so than family squabbles – a shock considering the average British driver spends the equivalent of 2 weeks a year in their car. This is a total of 345 hours – enough to drive from Lands’ End to John O’Groats 23.5 times.
The tensest events on the road were found to be tailgating (38% – when another motorist drives too close to the rear of your vehicle), traffic jams (34%), other drivers not indicating (30%) and finding a parking spot (24%). But the resounding winner of most stressful happenings on the road is one that many can identify with: other drivers! (42%)
It’s not just drivers feeling the brunt of the stress behind the wheel, but passengers too – with over a quarter (28%) of drivers admitting to arguing with their partner in the car. Almost one third (33%) admit to losing sleep thinking about an upcoming difficult journey – perhaps due to route planning, parking, or roadworks. With almost half of drivers (49%) spending more than 30 minutes behind the wheel every single day, that’s potentially a huge impact on their mental wellbeing.
“Parking shame” was a common stress-inducing theme amongst drivers, with over half of motorists (55%) admitting that parking with a bystander watching was very stressful, and the same amount confessing to parking further away from their destination to avoid a difficult manoeuvre, such as reversing into a parallel space. 3 in 10 (30%) admitted to simply feeling embarrassed about their parking skills.
When it comes to preventing stress, drivers resoundingly found that putting the radio on helped to ease anxiety the most (56%) and planning a route in advance helped to set their mind at ease too (39%). 1 in 5 (19%) also admitted that turning down the radio helped them concentrate on the road, and 16% found that snacks were an essential to qualm any nerves.
Rob Miller, Head of Operations from CarStore, said:
“The stress of everyday life, work issues or lack of sleep are often top contributors to feeling anxious while driving your car. On top of this, factors such as driving during peak times, being stuck in traffic, parking, or being unaware of the roads can also contribute to stress. There are lots of ways to prevent stress, such as planning your route in advance and checking for any roadworks or diversions, even if it’s a route you regularly take. We also recommend allowing extra time for making car journeys, planning parking, and factoring in rest stops, too.
“At CarStore, we carry out free Vehicle Health Checks for all our customers, which are comprehensive inspections to monitor the overall condition of a vehicle. We also provide both minor and major repair services, to ensure drivers have absolute peace of mind and confidence that their vehicle is safe before heading off on a trip.
“For anyone struggling with severe anxiety behind the wheel, we recommend speaking to a professional, such as an accredited counsellor or your GP, to find the best course of action. There’s no shame in asking for help and it’s important that drivers feel comfortable, confident and in control when behind the wheel, for their own safety and the safety of others.”
For further details on booking a free vehicle health check, visit this link on the CarStore website.