If you were born some time between the 1970s and the mid 1990s you're what's known as "Generation Y", and new research has shown that you're much more likely to be stressed behind the wheel than your "Baby Boomer" predecessors. The survey was conducted by Galaxy Research, on 1,010 people across Australia.
The cause of this increase in stress is down to Gen Y's tech savviness, according to the survey. Information overload from increased use of the internet and social media has dulled our ability to react to our surroundings, resulting in a poor sense of direction and reduced the ability to handle stress.
Gen Y drivers are three times more likely to make erratic decisions on the road when stressed, and a fifth admit they'd impulsively drive down side streets to avoid traffic congestion compared with only 6 percent of Baby Boomers in the same situation.
The research reveals, perhaps unsurprisingly, that arriving late, getting lost and encountering unfamiliar surroundings are the main causes of driver stress.
The solution? According to Galaxy Research, "We believe these modern day stress factors are all avoidable through the use of navigation [systems]." You'd expect them to say that though, since the survey was conducted on behalf of in-car satellite navigation company Navteq...
In-car navigation systems are undoubtably very useful, but here at All Car Tech we have our own ways of reducing stress behind the wheel.
Plan your journey in advance
Not necessary for a trip to the shops or any other familiar destination, but if you're embarking on a long trip to somewhere new, don't rely solely on a map or a sat-nav system in the car. Use a paper or online map to pick our a route, and plan how long it should take.
Set off early
Once you know how long the journey will take, add 5 minutes to it. Or thirty minutes. Or an hour. However long your journey, add a bit of extra time to prepare for unexpected traffic, closed roads, or simply finding somewhere to park. Arriving early to an important meeting is better than arriving late...
Avoid in-car distractions
If you have miles of freeway ahead of you then some tunes can be a godsend, but once you reach unfamiliar surroundings, turn off the stereo and ask your passengers to pipe down or help - the more attention you can devote to navigation, the better.
If you spend your life in a rush and do the same on the roads, then even minor hold-ups will irritate you. Take a more relaxed approach to driving and your stress levels will reduce too. The quicker you want to be somewhere, the slower a hold-up will feel. It also means you probably set off too late - so refer to point 2!
A satellite navigation system can help, but it can't work miracles. If your next trip is blissfully stress-free, you'll know who to thank...