Americans’ romance with the automobile seems to be cooling off a bit. A Pew Research survey conducted in 2006 found that just 23% say they consider their car “something special — more than just a way to get around,” barely half of the 43% who felt this way in 1991. About seven-in-ten American drivers (69%) still said they like to drive, but that was down from 79% in a 1991 Gallup survey. While the recent spike in gas prices no doubt contributed to the cooling of the affair, its primary cause appears to be the result of a longer-term trend, the growing hassle of traffic congestion. When asked whether they like to drive or consider it a chore, 69% of drivers in the Pew Research survey said the former, while 28% said the latter. When the “chore” respondents were asked why they felt this way, traffic congestion (23%) and “other drivers” (14%) topped the list of reasons. Just 3% cited the expense. Among the still sizable majority who say they like to drive, the biggest reasons offered were the relaxation (21%), the scenery (19%), the freedom (14%) and the ability to get around (12%). Read More
Sign up for our weekly newsletter
We need to confirm your email address.
To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.