TomTom: 75 percent of Americans have car-guments


It may not be a surprise to any couple who’s debated the direction that’s best for travel that 75% of Americans have arguments — mostly concerning directions — in the car. Back-seat driving was cited as the cause in 68% of the car-guments. The survey did not indicate whether men or women were more likely to be cited for the alleged infraction.

While the old saw portends that guys will never stop for the directions and women surely will, TomTom found a survey of 2,000 U.S. drivers have verbal disagreements over directions and 28% result from being stuck in traffic.

TomTom’s Top 5 reasons for sparring include:

  1. Someone telling you how/where to drive and how to handle traffic (48%)
  2. Frustrations from being stuck in traffic (28%)
  3. How to handle other drivers (27%)
  4. Running late because someone took too long to get ready (27%)
  5. Speeding or driving too slowly (15%)

“There’s something about being in a car and on the road with others that seems to raise the stress level for Americans,” said Jocelyn Vigreux, President of TomTom, Inc.

“With a focus on helping people get to their destinations faster, TomTom is all about helping Americans shorten the amount of time they need to be in the car so they can get to their destinations faster and spend more time doing things they enjoy.”

To help people have more fun and suffer less jawing in the jalopy for the Fourth of July holiday, TomTom revealed data from last year’s traffic to help Americans plan travel for this year. General rule of thumb: hit the road either in the morning (7AM – 10AM) or night (7PM – Midnight) and likely save over an hour of travel time.

  • Heading North towards Maine from I-95 and Rt. 1 junction (first 78 miles):
    • Leaving between 7– 10AM or 7PM – Midnight takes about the same amount of time, at a little over an hour
    • Leaving any time between 10 AM – 6 PM means travelers will likely sit in traffic for up to an hour and half
  • Heading South towards NYC/Hamptons from I-95 and I-93 junction at Dedham (first 86 miles):
    • The worst time to travel (between 3PM and 6PM) only adds about 10 minutes to your ride, so Bostonians can pretty much leave at any time during the day and expect a maximum of about an hour and a half
  • Heading Northwest towards Concord from I-93 and 128 junction (first 53 miles):
    • Leaving between 3PM and 6PM adds at least 40 minutes so be sure to avoid this time frame
    • The shortest ride is in the morning from 7AM – 10AM and will take some 45 minutes
  • Heading Southeast to the Cape from I-93 and Pilgrims Highway junction (first 69 miles):
    • By far the worst traffic of all options, heading to the Cape will take anywhere from an hour up to 2 hours of travel time
    • Highest traffic is between 3PM and 6PM, taking some a whooping hour and 50 minutes (and that’s only for 69 miles!) so definitely avoid leaving then
    • Best bet is the morning hours (7AM – 10AM) when Americans can expect an hour and 10 minutes for that stretch

 Other key findings include:

Ø  68 percent of Americans say they got in a car-gument because of “back seat driving” either from a spouse/partner, friend or family member

Ø  27 percent said they didn’t speak to the person they argued with for a period of time

Ø  25 percent think being in tight quarters together for a period of time is what leads to many unnecessary car-guments

Ø  10 percent think they argue over music choice

Ø  Surprisingly, only 9 percent of car-guments come from sibling bickering (dispelling the idea that most arguments in the car happen among siblings)

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by OnePoll on behalf of TomTom, Inc. on June 22, 2015.  The sample size was 2,000 with a demographic of US adults over the age of 18. Respondents were selected and invited to participate at random from a double-opted in and fully managed online research panel.  OnePoll is a corporate member of ESOMAR and employs members of the MRS, employing standards that adhere to the MRS code of conduct.


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