Post-lockdown traffic jams causing drivers anxiety

A stressed driver

Feeling anxious about returning to the roads after lockdown? You’re not alone.

Traffic jams, congestion and incompetent drivers are among some of the biggest anxieties for drivers getting back behind the wheel.

The most common driving worries

According to a survey of 1,000 UK residents by IAM RoadSmart, traffic jams are the biggest cause of stress for drivers, with 42% saying they’re worried about getting stuck in gridlock.

Busy roads was the next most common answer (33%), while anxieties about sharing the road with people who haven’t driven much over lockdown was the top concern for over a quarter (27%). 

Other stress factors include worries about reaching a location on time (24%), and returning to long-distance driving (15%).

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “As traffic starts getting heavier and heavier on UK roads it must not be forgotten that congestion and worries about other road users can cause stress to many motorists.

“With more traffic comes potentially more uncomfortable driving situations, such as being stuck in a traffic jam for a lengthy period or simply being surrounded by extra vehicles.”

Post-lockdown driving stress

Research published in the Driving Behaviour report by Brake and Direct Line, suggests stress behind the wheel has increased 6% since March 2020.

According to the report, a worrying nine in 10 drivers admit to feeling stressed or angry behind the wheel, with one in 10 saying they feel this way every time they’re on the road.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake said: “Every time you get behind the wheel, you are responsible for a machine with the capacity to cause catastrophic injury and even death.

“We urge all drivers to be aware of their moods and do all they can to minimise the impact of stress and anger on their driving.”

Looking for tips to help combat stress on the roads? Read 1ST CENTRAL’s 5 ways to conquer stressful driving, to help ease your anxiety.

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