Falling out of love

with driving

Traffic congestion

ARE modern road conditions forcing us to fallout of love with driving?

Waiting ages to make right turns because of endless steams of traffic, aggressive driving habits by others, traffic jams and hopelessly long journey time are all combining to make modern motoring a bit of a misery.

The fact is that nostalgic motorists long for a yesteryear of drivers with manners, less traffic and ample parking.

New research from Direct Line car insurance asked drivers how much time they enjoyed behind the wheel and found that a third (32 per cent) of the journey was unenjoyable on the average trip.

The study examined which elements of driving people disliked most and people enjoy the psychological aspects of driving far less than the practical side.

More than half (58 per cent) of drivers agree that facing aggressive drivers is the most disliked aspect of driving, while being stuck in a traffic jam was listed as the second worst element (49 per cent).

Road rage takes third place with 40 per cent of drivers finding an encounter of the angry kind puts a dampener on their journey.

It seems that being held back from making swift progress is a theme, with getting stuck behind slow moving vehicles (34 per cent), driving during rush hour (34 per cent) following hot on road rage's heels as a major motoring bugbear.

On average, people in the UK spend two hours and 17 minutes a week driving - equating to roughly 20 minutes per day.

Over a quarter (27 per cent) of drivers admit that they used to enjoy driving a lot more than they do now. Just one in seven (15 per cent) love driving so much that they choose to get behind the wheel purely for the enjoyment of it, rather than because they have to.

A fifth of drivers (19 per cent) admitted that driving is just a means to an end for them and do not expect to enjoy it. Seven per cent claim they avoid driving because they don't enjoy it and a fifth (20 per cent) will avoid driving at specific times of the day just to reduce stress.

Nick Reid, head of automotive technology at Direct Line Car Insurance, said: "Those who pine for a golden age of motoring may enjoy a revolution on our roads in years to come. Technology is already playing an increasing role in undertaking tasks traditionally carried out by the driver but this is set to peak if driverless cars make it onto our roads.

"Whilst it will take some time to iron out how these autonomous vehicles operate, eventually they should be in a place to alleviate many of the things that today's motorists find unenjoyable. However, until such times, drivers must remain vigilant and considerate to others sharing the road to make it a happier and safer place for all."

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