More than 60 per cent of motorists claim to be happier driving alone, a survey commissioned by Skoda UK reveals today, and according to a leading psychologist, this could be the answer to a healthier life.
The national study, undertaken by YouGov, found that respondents shun friends, family and even celebrities when it comes to driving companions, in search of valuable 'me time'.
When alone, respondents listed listening to music and the radio as their top source of happiness in the car (40%). Viewing beautiful scenery also uplifted their journey (12%) and nearly 10 per cent of interviewees said it gave them time to think.
Gladeana McMahon, one of the UK's leading psychologists, commented: "The findings from Skoda's survey illustrate how important alone time is. Driving on your own gives you time to think, whether mulling over issues or remembering good times. Given the hectic 24/7 lifestyles we all now seem to lead, the car has become a sanctuary for us to escape to, away from the stresses and strains of everyday life.
"Current research into the area of Positive Psychology also shows that people who spend time reflecting on what they are thankful for become more psychologically resilient. So if used positively, your daily car journey can be channeled to make you healthier and happier."
The survey also revealed that if we did have to share a car, TV favourite Cheryl Cole and comedian Stephen Fry would be our top choice of famous faces, closely followed by George Clooney and Kylie Minogue.
When it comes to travelling with colleagues, half of those surveyed felt that it was time well spent in getting to know their fellow workers, although 20 per cent prefer to use the time to indulge in gossip about their colleagues.
Unsurprisingly, only one per cent of Brits consider their boss to be a favourite passenger, while eight per cent believe that isolated time with their manager in the car could help to improve their careers or promotion chances.
When it comes to car sharing annoyances, driving styles (32%), smelly or untidy interiors (29%) and backseat drivers (28%) were listed as the top complaints by British workers.
Catherine Sleigh, Head of Press and PR Skoda UK said, "In a fast-paced world, where people constantly juggle the pressures of work and everyday life, our need for a little 'me time' has never been so important. As result of this need to get away from phone calls, emails and everyday stresses, cars can be a haven, a 'home from home', especially when fitted with Skoda's comfortable seats, huge legroom and the latest technology. Our engineers work hard to focus on the ways people use their cars, so every Skoda is designed to enhance the time our drivers - and their families - spend in the car."
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