Not-so-happy holidays

The cars on Britain’s roads are more likely to be filled with raised voices than happy chatter as thousands drive off to their summer holiday. An AA/Populus survey of 23,085 AA Members found that 65 per cent argue in the car.

The younger motorists, 18-24 year olds, are most likely to have in-car rows (73 per cent) compared to 60 per cent of over 65s. While drivers from Northern Ireland get hotter under the collar than drivers from the South West.

Getting from A to B seems to be the issue that causes the most in car bust ups. The proverbial issue of knowing, or not knowing the route, comes out as top cause of arguments in the car, with not stopping to ask for directions coming in third.

In second place is driving too fast; again with Northern Ireland being top when it comes to speeding arguments. While directions cause the greatest amount of arguments for all age groups, speed comes in second place for all but the 35-44s. At this age it is the noisy children in the back that are the second placed cause for arguments – not good news for parents about to head off with their little darlings.

Top 10 causes of arguments in cars:

1. Knowing the way to go

2. Driving too fast

3. Not asking for directions

4. Noisy children

5. Shouting at other drivers

6. Temperature in the car

7. Not agreeing on where to eat

8. Not agreeing on what to listen to

9. Topic of conversation

10. Driving too slowly

While more women than men say they argue about directions, it is the men that say their passengers are more likely to argue about how fast they are driving.

AA president, Edmund King, said, ‘Long journeys often get fraught at times.  The key thing is taking time to prepare well for the journey which should help keep arguments at bay.  Simple things like checking AA Route Planner before you leave and having an up to date atlas can help with issues over directions.

“Making sure that younger passengers are entertained will help keep them quiet. The AA website has a selection of games for children to play on journeys*, or get them to try and spot one of our five special AA Hippy Vans that will be out on the road this summer and possibly win prizes.

“Plan some picnic stops to break up long journeys and check over your car before you set off. A previous AA survey found that car occupants are the biggest distraction for drivers so it is worth keeping your passengers happy so that the driver can concentrate on the road ahead.”

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