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Top 50 most stressful things about driving

Driving a car

Loud passengers, driving in an unknown area and overtaking cyclists are among the biggest worries for drivers.

A study of 2,000 motorists revealed almost half said other drivers make them more concerned on the roads than they do themselves, while a third said driving is often the most stressful time of their day.

Navigating a double roundabout, being in the car with a partner and back seat drivers also feature among the Top 50 car stresses.

The research, commissioned by Rescue Remedy, revealed that 42% of drivers feel more worried when they have passengers in the car, compared to when they are alone.

More than two-fifths (44%) admitted that a demanding drive leaves them feeling overwhelmed for the rest of their day.

It also emerged more than half of those polled feel most comfortable with their partner as a passenger, while drivers feel least at ease with colleagues and siblings.

Despite this, 43% have fallen out with their other half because of a disagreement during a journey, with four in 10 admitted it was caused by discussing their driving skills.

Top 50 most stressful things about being in a car

  1. Driving in the snow
  2. Driving in an unknown area
  3. Driving in the rain
  4. Tailgaters
  5. Hitting a pothole
  6. Driving in the fog
  7. Driving in the dark
  8. Feeling like a large vehicle e.g. lorry/bus is too close to your car
  9. Getting a warning light
  10. Finding a parking space
  11. Driving down narrow country lanes
  12. Driving with the fuel light on
  13. Having to reverse in a narrow road with cars either side
  14. Parallel parking
  15. Merging onto a motorway
  16. Hesitating about taking over a cyclist
  17. Blind corners
  18. Being watched by other people when trying to park
  19. Sitting in traffic
  20. Missing a motorway exit and having to drive all the way back around
  21. Having to change lanes in peak time
  22. Fear of people going into the back of you
  23. Mastering a three lane roundabout
  24. Leaving the motorway at the wrong junction
  25. Being the driver for passengers you’re not very familiar with e.g. colleagues
  26. Sunday drivers
  27. Back seat drivers
  28. Doing a hill start
  29. Driving while your passengers are being loud
  30. Reversing out of a parking space
  31. Worrying about getting a flat tyre
  32. Hitting a car when parking
  33. Navigating a double roundabout
  34. Defrosting the car
  35. Pulling out around a bus at a bus stop
  36. Driving with a child in the car
  37. Taking over another vehicle on a motorway
  38. Rubber necking
  39. Being in a car with your partner
  40. Pulling out to join a roundabout
  41. Box junctions
  42. Driving somewhere with no signal
  43. Hitting a parked car when driving past it
  44. Remembering which side of the car the petrol cap is on
  45. Changing gear while driving up a hill
  46. Being in the wrong gear
  47. Driving with a pet in the car
  48. Not knowing how to fully work the lights
  49. Mini roundabouts
  50. Not knowing how to fully turn on the wipers

“The research shows how many elements there are to being in a car which can make it stress-inducing,” said a spokesperson for Rescue Remedy.

“It’s often hard to find balance and patience when there are a lot of external factors at play, and car journeys can often perpetuate worries about other life pressures.

“For many, this is what can make driving even more stressful, especially during a commute marred with delays, diversions and noise.”

“It’s important to find balance during stressful times, so it’s good to know many people see the car as a place to escape other worries and take time to think.”

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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