Drivers and passengers could reduce the stress of their shared car journeys if they only took some simple steps to plan their journey, their listening material and took some simple steps to drive more considerately.
This is the conclusion from the findings of a new survey from Nissan highlighting the most common causes of stress between drivers and passengers on a car journey.
The study discovered that unsafe driving and mobile phone usage are the leading causes of in-car arguments for European motorists.
Just under half (45%) identified using the phone or texting while driving as the principle reason for disputes between occupants.
Meanwhile, 39% identified dangerous overtaking as the biggest cause and more than a third of motorists pinpointing last-minute braking (35%) as the top culprits.
European motorists’ top five causes of in-car arguments:
- Using the phone while driving/texting while driving (45%)
- Dangerous overtaking (39%)
- Last-minute braking (35%)
- Sudden or harsh braking unnecessarily (33%)
- Tailgating (32%)
As well as being the chief causes of in-car friction, unsafe driving and mobile phone usage have an even wider impact for the on-road experience. Nearly three-quarters [72%] of the survey participants state that using the phone while driving or texting behind the wheel are together the worst driving habits and a large source of stress between drivers and passengers.
Furthermore, these traits are even more concerning for European drivers than dangerous overtaking and tailgating, with 59% and 55% selecting these as the worst habits respectively.
When it comes to avoiding in-car arguments, European drivers can call on a range of technological features to maintain in-car harmony.
Over a third of respondents highlighted the use of digital navigation aides as the ideal solution, followed by advanced safety features (34%) such as intelligent cruise control for peace of mind, followed by hands-free mobile phone technology (33%) and driving assistance technologies (32%), such as the around view monitor on the Nissan JUKE which gives a 360 degree of the car’s surroundings, allowing easy and risk-free parking manoeuvres.
Motorists value good tunes above nearly all else for great car journeys
In addition to the top causes of tension on the road, the research also sheds light on what European motorists favour for an enjoyable, stress-free journey.
Safe driving (59%) and good music (55%) are the order of the day for European drivers, with these identified as the most important ingredients for enhancing enjoyment behind the wheel.
Even when being driven by others, half (50%) of European motorists prioritise music as the top way of putting the joy into the journey, as 32% state that agreement on music choices is one of the most important. Coming ahead of finding a good parking spot (24%), top tunes are prized over practicality for European drivers.
When it comes to the in-car features that make an enjoyable journey, comfort and technology continue to be front-of-mind. Nearly two-thirds of European motorists choose comfy seats above all, with spacious interiors (43%) the second most-popular – making serenity and relaxation the key priorities for a harmonious and relaxing car journey.
European drivers crave multiple aspects of in-vehicle technology to help them behind the wheel; advanced safety features (39%), navigation technology (39%), hands-free mobile phone functionality (36%) and smartphone connectivity (35%) proved to be the most popular for making car journeys more enjoyable.