August 2, 2006
Love Affair with Cars in need of Couples Therapy?
This comes from a regular reader:
The Pew Research Center has released a report that finds that fewer Americans now enjoy driving than did in 1991. 69 percent now enjoy driving, down from 79 percent in 1991. You can read the executive summary or the entire report at Pew’s website:
A couple of the more interesting findings:
- 28% of Americans feel that driving is a “chore”, opposed to 69% who “like to drive”
- 31% of Americans think their car has a personality (!)
- Congestion ranks as the most-mentioned reason that people don’t like to drive
What this study didn’t get into was any discussion of people’s propensity to use alternatives, whether or not they actually existed in their community. Basically, we have here a definition of the problem as certain people see it, with no discussion of solutions. Still, it’s useful to know that the conventional wisdom that people love to drive is waning somewhat.
August 2, 2006 12:34 AM
Bob R. Says:
31% of Americans think their car has a personality (!)
Don't laugh. It's true. And I'm not one to easily give up on science, but all of my cars have developed personalities over the years. (Or, more specifically, personality disorders.)
My previous car thought it was particularly hysterical to die when accelerating only on freeway on-ramps, and never with a mechanic present, and our current car thinks that heading southbound on 99E from Milwaukie/Oak Grove is a fine way to get to NE Portland. (Navteq now acknowledges this little personality disorder and claims to have fixed it.)
Of course, as a wise man once said, "Don't anthropomorphise things. They hate that."
- Bob R.
August 2, 2006 6:48 AM
Ross Williams Says:
As one of those people who likes to drive, I like to drive a whole lot more when I don't do it during rush hour or to places that are congested. Perhaps we can restore the luster of driving if we can get people to do it a lot less when it is unpleasant.
Cruising across Eastern Oregon or driving forest service roads is an entirely different experience than trying to get on Highway 217 during rush hour.