Forget the credit crunch or what to watch on TV; according to new research from easyCar.com one of the most common causes of arguments between British couples is what goes on behind the steering wheel.
This latest research from easyCar.com reveals 37% of couples argue when driving abroad – second only to couples’ quarrels over money (41%). But it’s not all bad news for UK motorists, according to leading psychologist David Moxon, most drivers simply need to recognise their driving habits and adapt them accordingly.
Drivers motoring traits become more pronounced when travelling on unfamiliar foreign roads and the top driving irritants for loved ones are poor map reading (48%), driving too fast (28%) and not understanding road signs (21%).
Professor Moxon has identified four key types of UK drivers when abroad: the SatNavvies which make up 43% of the population, the Planners (37%), the Road Signers (19%) and the Freewheelers (13%).
SatNavvies are characterised by their reliance on the shiny piece of equipment adorning their dashboards. So attached are they to this piece of electronic wizardry, they are unlikely to believe it’s capable of any inaccuracy until they’re bonnet down in a ditch. The downfall of this type is that 69% end up arguing with their passengers when driving abroad because they believe the machine is all-knowing. The number one tip for partners of SatNavvies is to relax and enjoy the ride, not a lot can be done to fight the machine.
The next most frequent driving type is the Planner. Drivers in this category like to organise all routes in advance of heading abroad, often using three different advisor sites to plan their journey down to the last comfort break. This approach leads to significantly less disagreements with just half (54%) arguing with their passengers. Anyone finding themselves stuck with a planner can rest assured they’re in safe hands as they’re the most likely of all types to end safely at a prescribed destination.
The third largest driving type is the Road Signer (19%). These drivers are impatient to start on their adventure. They dismiss map reading and shun SatNav in favour of relying heavily on road signs, regardless of whether they can actually understand them. Unfortunately this is not the most diplomatic approach and like the SatNavvies, 7 out of 10 Road Signers end up quarrelling behind the wheel. The top tip dealing with this type is to research the route in advance in order to gently guide in the absence of road signs.
The final and smallest group at 13% of UK adults is the Freewheeler. This type drives through natural instinct alone, not bothering with the hassle of maps or SatNavs, they trust they will instinctively know which way to turn when they come to that all-important crossroad. It may be a great life philosophy, but one in two (54%) Freewheelers still end up in driving disputes. Top tip: miraculously discover a map in the glove-box.
Bill Jones, CEO of easyCar.com, said: “A driving holiday is the best way to get off the well-trod tourist path and do some exciting trail-blazing of your own. A bit of forward planning can help make sure your road trip is stress-free."
Notes to Editors
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 4,173 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15th - 18th April 2008. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
easyCar.com was launched in April 2000 by Stelios, founder of easyJet.com and Chairman of the easyGroup. easyCar is now one of the leading international car rental brokers with a worldwide network of more than 2,400 car hire locations in over 60 countries. easyCar offers a wide range of vehicles from super-mini and compact cars to MPV's and luxury cars. In the UK, easyCar also offers Van Hire under the easyVan.com brand.
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