Kiwis suffer anxiety when driving - study

Long Lunch 25/06/2018
Photo credit: Getty.

Two-thirds of New Zealanders are anxious drivers, a new study has found.

Massey University’s senior clinical psychologist, Dr Joanne Taylor, told Wendyl Nissen the results are somewhat surprising.

“Particularly the amount of folks who were reporting moderate to severe driving anxiety – 16 percent of the sample, that’s quite a lot of people.”

52 percent of surveyed drivers reported mild anxiety and only 31 percent report no anxiety while at the wheel, the study found.

“But it’s the moderate to severe levels that are potentially causing problems for people in their lives and stopping them from doing things they want to do,” Dr Taylor told RadioLIVE.

1500 random people were asked to take part in the study but only 441 responded.

Dr Taylor said driver’s greatest fears were dying in a car crash, and worrying about whether or not others are driving safely.

There’s reason to be anxious on the roads, I think.

“Driving is a more complex thing than it used to be - in terms of being on the road and the number of cars, and the complexity of our road ways, especially in bigger cities.

“But I think there are higher stress levels in society. People live at quite a fast pace, in cities, particularly. There’s a lot of stress – across urban and rural areas. I think those sorts of things can contribute to people just being anxious about a range of things, one of which could be driving,” Dr Taylor explained.

Listen to the full interview with Dr Joanne Taylor above. 

The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.