Americans are hitting the road to escape reality.
With the year coming to a close, 2020 has tested our stress levels to say the least. The coronavirus pandemic has challenged Americans in ways unimaginable and will continue to plague us long after a vaccine is made available.
While Americans wait for the old way of things to pick up again, it’s become pretty apparent that it isn’t only your Instagram followers that have went on exotic, cross-country trips via car during the pandemic.
Sixty-nine percent of Americans said that taking road trips this year has made them cope better with some of the stresses due to the pandemic, according to a new study.
Findings conducted by OnePoll with Gumout, a fuel addictive manufacturer, wanted to see not just how the pandemic has affected Americans, but also cars and car-usage. The study, which polled 2,000 Americans, found that road trips — which seemed to be a dying breed in recent years — made a strong return this year due to stipulations regarding traveling because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When airlines shuttered at the start of the pandemic in March, Americans started hitting the road in order to use their vacation days. In fact, nearly a third of respondents (31%) said they only took a road trip this year to avoid flying no matter what the distance was, with nearly a quarter (23%) admitting they are now comfortable driving to even further places in the future.
The change in travel is an interesting development as airlines did welcome back travelers despite borders being closed in many countries except for required traveling.
Airlines implemented social distanced seating to encourage traveling and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently said that traveling via airplane is actually pretty safe despite worries earlier in the pandemic.
While the pandemic has made Americans hesitant about a lot of things, getting their cars out of the garage isn’t one of them. Sixty-three percent of respondents said they have felt more reliant on their cares since the start of the pandemic, while 61% said they sometimes just get in their car and go for a drive with no place in mind. The reason there is it’s helping with stress, according to the report.
With Americans facing heightened levels of anxiety and stress, over two thirds of drives (68%) said driving has helped them channel their stress in a positive way.
“During these unusual times, the relationship people have with their vehicles has evolved and changed. This shift has encouraged people to care a little more about properly maintaining their cars from home,” Rusty Waples, Global Group brand Marketing Manager for Gumout, said in a press release.
“…this year has been challenging and many have found hitting the road in their vehicle to be a relatively safe way to relieve some stress. We want to aid drivers in protecting and maintaining one of their most valued assets – their car.”