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Why family car-ma is all child’s play

-Parents more likely to shout ‘Are we there yet?’ than their kids-

As millions of families hit the road this summer, the familiar cry of ‘are we there yet’ is far more likely to come from parents and not their children - according to new research from MORE TH>N Car Insurance 1.

The findings reveal that highly-stressed parents take just 24 minutes to utter the well known words, the time it takes to drive from Central London to Slough, compared to children who take 90 minutes - the time it takes to drive from Central London to Oxford2. One in ten parents said it takes just 10 minutes before the first symptoms of irritation creep in on family road trips, transforming them from easy-going drivers to motorway monsters.

This reversal of traditional roles can in part be attributed to the wealth of portable gadgets available to kids these days - 56% of youngsters occupy themselves with handheld games consoles and another 50% drown out the sounds of their parents’ ‘golden oldies’ by listening to their MP3 players.

On the flip side, it’s parents who are failing to prepare adequately for long car journeys causing their ‘travel temper gauges’ to go into the red. What’s more, one in 10 say that family car journeys are so stressful they get nervous about trips up to a week before they take place.

All this stress drives parents to extreme measures to keep their patience in check. One fifth use rude hand gestures and swearing to blow off steam at other drivers and help overcome the aggravations of traffic jams, tail-gating and discourteous drivers. Others are more creative and invent their own games to take their minds off the road (29%).

Top five biggest irritations faced by drivers:

• traffic jams (18%)
• tail-gating (18%)
• sky-rocketing petrol prices (17%)
• discourteous road users (16%)
• people driving too slowly (6%)

Dowshan Humzah, Product Director at MORE TH>N said, “Children increasingly have plenty of options to keep themselves occupied and happy on long journeys. It’s parents and guardians who are now faced with a range of stresses from getting stuck in traffic jams to avoiding menaces on the motorway. MORE TH>N understands the pressures parents face on the road and reminds all drivers to plan their journeys carefully so they are fun, safe and they arrive at their holiday destinations relaxed and ready to unwind”.

MORE TH>N offers the following tips to make family journeys as stress-free as possible:

• Map your route well in advance to account for any major roadworks that may cause lengthy delays
• Take regular rest breaks to break up monotonous journeys
• Share driving duties with your spouse or partner
• Bring along music or audiobooks to keep yourself entertained
• Plan travel games that the entire family can participate in so no one feels left out
• If going on a long journey, pack plenty of drinks and healthy snacks to keep blood sugar levels high

For more information about MORE TH>N car insurance or to obtain a quote, visit or call 0800 300 220.


Notes to editors:

1 Survey conducted by Fly Research on behalf of MORE TH>N across 1,000 UK parents during June 2008
2 Travel time from Central London to Slough and Central London to Oxford calculated using route planner

For further information:

Carmel McCarthy
MORE TH>N External Communications
T: 020 7337 5405
M: 07717 294529

Lana Clements
MORE TH>N External Communications
T: 020 7337 5797
M: 07866 436376

About MORE TH>N:

MORE TH>N is the direct financial services arm of RSA. It offers motor, home, pet, life and travel insurance by phone and via the internet. It also offers van, shop, office, business car, hotels, property, club and contractor insurance direct to small businesses.

In December 2006 MORE TH>N, together with its parent company Royal & SunAlliance, became the first insurer in the UK to be carbon neutral. The company has cut its carbon footprint by over half since 2000 and has offset the remainder by purchasing voluntary carbon reductions.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Cow PR in the following categories: Children & Teenagers, Motoring, Travel, for more information visit