Why Is Driving So Stressful? (With 20 Examples)

90% of drivers in a 2021 road driving study felt stressed during their journey, growing 6% from 84% in 2020. 

Why is driving so stressful? Driving is stressful because you have to avoid accidents with little controls from external interruptions, road rages and other stressed drivers behaviors. 9% of drivers get more aggressive to other road users when they are stressed.

Why does driving make me so stressed

Personally, driving is so tiring, boring and stressful that I would rather use ride sharing services. Even Tesla AutoPilot has to perform stressful driving tasks because of unpredictable driving conditions such as

  1. driver in front of you braking suddenly or intermittently for no reason, requiring you to focus
  2. obscured pedestrians suddenly appearing on your way (e.g., walking behind a bus or van)   
  3. traffic jam that requires you to move and stop constantly
  4. aggressive driver speeding and snaking around
  5. slow driver on a single lane road 
  6. drivers that don't signal (e.g. before overtaking you)
  7. drivers that are distracted (e.g. using phones or smoking)
  8. drivers who drive into your lanes without warning (e.g. snoozing in long distance ride)
  9. pedestrians jaywalk as if they have the right of walk
  10. having to wait for a driver who takes forever parking
  11. driving on roads with road works
  12. driving for long hours without rest
  13. driving with sunlight shining your eyes
  14. driving behind vans or buses that limit your visibility
  15. driving in adverse weathers like heavy rain or snow
  16. driving in dark or dimmed roads
  17. driving on upslope (chance of engine overheating) or down slopes (need to control braking)
  18. driving on curvy roads
  19. driving on roads next to cliffs
  20. driving on bumpy or rocky roads making the car hard to control

Further information from the Brake UK 2021 road driving study also shared those male drivers are slightly more stressed or angry on every journey (9%) than female drivers (7%).

Some other stressful driving statistics include 

  • According to Healthline, the number of road rage incidents is rising, with 728 road rage events occurring in 2021, 522 of which involved injury or death. 
  • Further studies consistently linked driving time with health implications and a 6% increase in the odds of obesity for each additional hour per day spent in a car. It showed that those who drove for more than two hours a day were more likely to have various implications on health mentally and physically  (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  • A car insurance TheZebra survey found that approximately 66% of U.S. drivers experience some level of anxiety while driving. 
  • The survey also reports that 75% of women feel anxious while performing driving maneuvers and that 62% of Americans have experienced a traumatic incident related to driving
  • Stressed drivers brake and accelerate six times more frequently than non-stressed drivers. Stressed drivers felt 20% more tired after driving

Is driving supposed to be stressful

Driving in a long road without any traffic and great scenery can be relaxing for some. Driving is not meant to be stressful but the increasing car ownership on a limited road created a bottleneck issue.

Your everyday driving situation is road driving in slow traffic while rushing to reach your destination in time. 

How can I make driving less stressful?

To calm driving nerves, you can improve your environment by listening to music you enjoyed (calm music or radio podcasts), adjust your air-conditioning, drive during non-peak hours and driving routes that are less crowded. 

Why is driving so weird

Driving is weird because it is a daily activity we perform and we felt worse over time due to the terrible road environments. Many predict that self-driving autonomous car networks will overtake most driving and become as simple as taking a lift or escalator.

Why is driving so difficult

Driving is a complex task with the road environment and conditions constantly changing. The license to drive just implies you have the minimum ability to handle most conditions but you might face new situations you are not sure what to do. This is the problem that self-driving cars are learning too (i.e. edge cases) that even millions of miles might not have seen before.

Why do I hate driving?

Driving is a monotonous activity that requires a lot of focus and attention. It can be really frustrating when you are stuck in traffic or have to deal with aggressive drivers. 

The alternatives are much better such as ride-sharing or public transit so that you can still use your mobile phone during transit or biking and walking which are much healthier for your body.

Why do I get so angry when driving?

Driving is one of the most stressful activities in our lives and I got angry once when I was driving my lane and a van suddenly came into my lane because of the tired driver. I had to swerve away and honk the van. Personally, I can understand since I did long distance convoy driving during military training that had devices on your ears that rang when your head tilted down to prevent accidents.


Efforts have been made to get the information as accurate and updated as possible. If you found any incorrect information with credible source, please send it via the contact us form
Author
Sky Hoon
He loved the future of self driving car and cannot wait for one. In the meantime, he loved to read up all about car and components like a computer.
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