Today is one of the big driving days on the calendar, as thousands of people around Ireland load up the car and head away to make the most of the bank holiday weekend.
And what could be better? A long weekend driving the Ring of Kerry, or exploring the Wild Atlantic Way, or discovering the Copper Coast – one of the country’s best-kept secrets – and enjoying all that Ireland has to offer: beautiful landscape, friendly people, great food and a pint or two of Arthur’s finest while the conversation flows.
That’s if you’re still speaking to your other half by the time you reach your destination. Research carried out by car rental provider Enterprise Rent-A-Car has found that there’s nothing quite like a long road trip to turn a romantic weekend into the road to hell – ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!
First question: who’s driving? This is important, as the person behind the wheel gets to annoy the person in the passenger seat. Annoy them how? Well, 35% of those who completed the Enterprise survey said that driving too slowly was their partner’s most annoying habit, with mostly males (65%) wishing their other halves would get a move on
On the other hand, a quarter of those surveyed said that driving too fast was their partner’s worst habit, where the majority of these respondents were females (89%). Tailgating was next on the list (18%) and the majority of female respondents (67%) said this was their partner’s most annoying habit, suggesting that most women would love their guys to ease off on the accelerator.
The survey also asked couples what they argue about in the car, and guess what? In the age of GPS trackers and, oh, about a billion apps designed to get you where you’re going, it seems the most common cause of friction (57%) is still which direction to take. It’s an oldie but a goodie! Other rows waiting to happen include:
- Choice of radio channel (28%)
- Eating/making a mess in the car (21%)
- Frequent stops (11%)
- 'The kids' (5%)
Not the kids!! Anyway, the survey is mostly a bit of fun although it does make the very important point that when we drive, we’re under more stress than usual. And a bank holiday Friday afternoon with heavy traffic, long tailbacks and big plans for the weekend is one of the more stressful driving situations you’re likely to encounter.
Our point being, do your best to relax and stay calm. The traffic will eventually clear. The kids will eventually stop kicking the back of your seat. The signpost to your impossible-to-find B&B will eventually appear. Your weekend will eventually begin. When it does, make sure you’re in the frame of mind to enjoy it.
Safe driving, have a great weekend.