07 September 2015

Congested Traffic Number One Stress for Filipino Drivers, New Study Finds

Driver Stress and Singing in the Car-14

• Congested traffic, fuel prices and looking for parking are the top three causes of stress for Filipino drivers

• Looking for a parking space is considered twice as stressful as the act of parallel parking

• Simple ways to ease stress while driving include singing in the car, which 50 percent of Filipino drivers do regularly according to the survey

• Drivers surveyed in five countries across Asia Pacific – Australia, China, India, the Philippines and Thailand

Driver Stress and Singing in the Car-15

Whether it is traffic congestion, rising fuel prices or the nightmare of searching for a parking spot, there are a lot of things that can stress out Filipino drivers.

A new survey commissioned by Ford Motor Company polled drivers in the Philippines and asked them about some common causes of stress on the roads. Traffic congestion came out on top with 77 percent of Filipino drivers admitting it caused stress and anxiety. Fuel prices were the second most common cause of stress on the roads, followed by looking for parking, fear of getting into an accident and the presence of pedestrians.

Here’s how those numbers break down:

• Congested traffic (77 percent)
• Fuel prices (64 percent)
• Finding parking (55 percent)
• Fear of getting into an accident (54 percent)
• Presence of pedestrians (35 percent)

Ford’s survey found that 27 percent of Filipino drivers find parallel parking stressful once they (eventually) find a free parking place. Other factors of stress on the roads include traffic fines, the presence of cyclists and the fear of hitting an animal (33, 28 and 26 percent, respectively).

Only four percent of Filipino drivers said that none of the above situations cause them stress or anxiety, so it looks like most of us could use some help relaxing behind the wheel. Here are five tips to help get you started.

Smart cars have your back
Cars today are jam-packed with cool tech that’s designed to help avoid and even prevent accidents. Ford’s Blind Spot Information System and Forward Collision Alert use sensors and radar to help alert drivers about other vehicles on the road. So whilst you’re taking on your commute, you can relax knowing Ford’s smart features are looking out for you.

Sing in the car
Research published in the international medical journal Evolutionary Psychology suggests that singing can help trigger the release of endorphins in the brain*, which produce feelings of happiness and euphoria. Plus, singing is a blast! And if you’re carpooling or on a road trip with friends, the benefits of singing can be even more pronounced in groups.**

An impressive 50 percent of Filipino drivers surveyed by Ford admit that they sing in the car frequently or nearly every time they’re driving, and an additional 44 percent admitted to belting out their favorite tunes once in a while. With Ford’s SYNC in-car connectivity system, drivers can stream their favorite music while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road with steering wheel-mounted controls.

Another good way to pass the time and forget about the stresses of the road is to catch up on the news or listen to an audio book. Ford’s in-car connectivity system SYNC makes it easier than ever to pair your phone and stream the radio or your favorite book.

Lighten up
The price of fuel may be getting you down, but your driving decisions can cut down on fuel use and save you cash. Removing excess weight from cargo areas, planning your route in advance and easing off the accelerator for less aggressive driving can all make a substantial difference to the cost of driving. You can also opt for a Ford with an EcoBoost engine, a fuel efficient option that saves you money without sacrificing performance.

Practice makes perfect
Going back to the basics can help take the stress out of parking. Grab a few cones to act as substitute cars and head to the nearest parking lot or open space for a throwback to the days when you were practicing for the driving test. It might be easier than you think, and if you have Ford’s Active Park Assist, front or rear parking sensors or a reverse camera, it’ll be easier and more stress free than ever!

Stay alert and in control
Make sure you’re prepared for the journey ahead. Avoid driving while sleepy, and take plenty of breaks to make sure you’re on the top of your game, whether you need a restroom break, a cup of coffee or a solid meal to keep yourself fuelled up. Ford’s Driver Impairment Monitor – available on the new Ford Ranger and other models – helps remind you when it’s time to take a break, rest, revive and survive.

Survey details: On behalf of Ford, GlobalWebIndex surveyed 1,997 consumers in Australia, China, India, the Philippines and Thailand. Asia Pacific average figures are weighted by population.