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Keep your cool on the road

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured image by oatsy40

 

New research conducted by Europcar reveals that, whilst the trip away itself may be relaxing, the journey to our destinations is often far from idyllic, filled with arguments, road rage at other drivers and worries that the car we’re in won’t even make it there at all!

We gave you a few tips in our last blog about how to keep the kids entertained – but what about us adults? How can we make that relaxing break away more, well…relaxing?

 

Image by Paul Townsend
Image by Paul Townsend

 

Here to tell us more is summer driving expert, Robert Shaw from Europcar.

What does the research reveal about the things that make that trip away less relaxing than it could be?

“In our summer driving survey, 2000 participants gave us an insight into what really grinds our gears as a nation on the road. To begin with, 62% of us don’t have confidence our cars will even make it to our destination. So that’s a stressful start to the holiday before you’ve even turned on the engine! The research also shows a number of common annoyances, both on and off the road, that affect our stress levels whilst travelling.”

What are the main things that seem to irritate drivers taking the family away on their summer break?

“Drivers that don’t leave enough breaking distance are our biggest annoyance on the roads, with almost 42% of those surveyed naming this as their main irritation. Middle lane drivers are another pet peeve, with 39% of participants naming this as their top annoyance. People cutting us up, those slow ‘Sunday drivers’ and motorists slowing down to rubberneck at accidents are also high on the irritation scale.”

What can people do to make long trips less stressful and more comfortable?

“It turns out our stress levels aren’t much better inside the car. Almost 40% of us named interfering back seat drivers as our top pet hate, with nearly 20% of participants getting frustrated at our travelling companion’s map reading skills (or lack thereof). Having to squeeze what feels like everything but the kitchen sink into the boot also increased our stress levels, as did arguments over music and having to stop frequently. The best advice I have is to plan your journey before you leave home – map out your route, designate rest stops and decide who gets to be in charge of the music – and for how long!”

A massive two thirds of people say they worry about their car on long journeys – does this apply across different age ranges?

“Unsurprising, young people seem to have the most cause for concern here, with more than 13% of 18-24 year olds being very worried about their car breaking down on long journeys. However, 35-44 year olds are actually the biggest worriers – despite feeling more confident in their cars, nearly 55% of those surveyed in this age range sometimes worry about the chance of breaking down. Those over 55 years old are the most confident – with 45% never letting themselves worry about breaking down.”

You’ve uncovered the roads we find the worst to drive on – are the different regions in agreement?

“Overall, our participants have selected the M25 as the UKs worst motorway to drive on during the school holidays. And generally, yes, most regions in the UK are in agreement, particularly in London and East Anglia, where 58% and 51% of participants respectively chose this motorway. Interestingly, the only region in disagreement is Northern Ireland – 10% of those surveyed agreed that the M25 was the UK’s worst, but 13% went for the M1 instead.”

What can people do to make long trips less stressful and more comfortable?

“For those who need more luggage space or are just sick of worrying about their cars breaking down, I’d advise them to check out our fantastic fleet of hire cars to keep their next UK road-trip stress free and simple.

“Also, people are generally calmer when they are in the surrounds of some of Britain’s best scenery. 24% of our survey participants chose the Lake District as the most scenic UK journey they’ve ever taken, followed by the Scottish Highlands (19%) and the Yorkshire Dales (10%). Nearly 2% of people even chose Central London, which just goes to show that people’s opinions on what is restful and relaxing really are relative!”

How do you keep your cool on the road?

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