Millions of drivers lose memories of their trips, study shows

Millions of drivers miss the sights and memories of road trips because they focus on GPS, traffic, and avoiding road works.

A survey of 2,000 drivers revealed that nearly three-quarters (72 percent) arrived at their desired location with no real recollection of the route they took.

Other common distractions include worrying about how much fuel is left, engine noise, and talking to passengers.

It also emerged that a quarter of motorists (26 per cent) do not pay as much attention to their surroundings when driving as they should and often miss the scenery they pass by.

For 44 per cent, taking breaks is a sure way to help them focus on driving and travelling, while others rely on planning or familiarizing themselves with the route, and even making sure they are well rested and fed. beforehand.

Ocean Drive in Miami Beach
A survey of 2,000 drivers revealed that nearly three-quarters arrived at their desired location with no real recollection of the route they took. Pictured: A car drives down Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, Florida, after the city reopened it to a southbound lane of traffic on January 24, 2022.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Cognitive scientist Martha Newson, who partnered with carmaker Hyundai, which commissioned the research, said: “Part of what holds us together as families, communities or society is the memories that shape us and being able to reflect on our experiences. more defining”. together.

“After years of lockdowns, the UK is making up for what seems like lost time.

“We have a deep need to create memories, which is reflected in the fact that 22% of those surveyed shared that they want to be more present in the moment and create more lasting memories during their travels.

“It’s not about getting from A to B, it’s about really experiencing what travel has to offer in all its glory.

“These tours of the UK are part of what brings us together again, both physically and psychologically.”

The study found that 34 percent of those surveyed are more likely to recall a car trip when traveling with other people, rather than alone.

A third said the most salient memory of previous car trips is who they traveled with, while the same number said the incredible sights (33 percent).

These arrived before passing through famous places (30 percent) and the destination itself (29 percent).

However, when asked what sounds they most associate with a road trip, the sound of the engine (38 percent) surprisingly outperformed the radio or podcasts (36 percent) and the sound of the sea (16 percent). ).

Memorable trips in the UK
Millions of drivers miss the sights and memories of road trips because they focus on GPS, traffic, and avoiding road works. In this graphic, a look at some of the most memorable routes for UK drivers.
Jon Mills/Zenger

It also emerged that more than 1 in 5 (21 percent) believe that driving an electric car would make a road trip more memorable, as planning the route allows drivers to take a break and not only charge the car, but also freshen up before the next stretch. From the trip

Others think that electric vehicles add memories and make the driving experience more enjoyable.

Drivers are happy to cruise for just two hours and 40 minutes before taking a break, and 69 percent plan or make impromptu stops in an attempt to make their journey more memorable.

Bathroom breaks are a frequent stopping point for 51 percent, and 37 percent allow a breather to stretch their legs.

Only 28 percent will stop to rest at the scenic overlooks, and 26 percent will stop for a good coffee.

The research, conducted through OnePoll, also revealed that coastal roads, mountain views and good weather are some of the things motorists believe make a car trip memorable, and that includes driving near of lakes and rivers, pass through picturesque towns and cross national parks.

Using the top 20 things that make a car journey memorable, according to motorists, Hyundai has selected the 10 most memorable journeys in the UK for the nation to enjoy this summer.

A spokesman for Hyundai Motor UK, which commissioned the research to encourage drivers to consider switching to an electric vehicle to help make memories on the road, said: “Driving can be really enjoyable or really forgettable, it all depends on how you approach it. to the.

“If you’re driving somewhere new this summer, treat it as an adventure and a chance to see new things, try local restaurants and make new memories, and be more present with the people you’re traveling with.

“A significant fifth say opportunities to create memories are lost on drives due to fumes and engine noise, which are easily resolved by switching to electric.

“Electric vehicles allow for fast charging, maximum driving range and plenty of interior space to make the daily commute as enjoyable as possible.”

Martha Newson’s Tips for a Memorable Trip

1. Choose snacks for your car wisely.

Opt for high-protein treats, such as nuts or cheese, over sugary snacks or refined carbohydrates, as regular sugar consumption is associated with poorer memory. Dark chocolate, which contains at least 70 percent cocoa, is the exception to this rule because it is rich in flavonoids, which are linked to increased blood supply to parts of the brain associated with memory. Anti-inflammatory foods, such as fruits, vegetable sticks, and certain teas, are also ideal for optimal cognition, as they positively influence neural signaling.

2. Minimize distractions.

While the playlist can be important, other noises can distract you from remembering the trip itself. Distracting information, such as the noise of the engine or the cluttered environment of the car, puts a load on our working memory. Because the brain is busy processing distracting information, our performance in other areas must decrease. So if we want to support our visual memory to process beautiful scenery, it helps to have an uninterrupted ride with minimized distractions.

3. Really stretch your legs when you have a break.

A short bout of exercise, whether it’s a few deep lunges, running in place, or a brief jog on the beach, can help improve circulation and the secretion of neuroprotective proteins, associated with the growth and development of neurons. This acute form of exercise primes molecular processes to encode and consolidate new memories. If you have an electric vehicle that needs to recharge its battery, take this time to recharge your batteries as well.

Top 20 things that make a car trip memorable

  1. driving down the coast
  2. Mountain View
  3. Good time
  4. Driving near lakes and rivers
  5. picturesque towns
  6. who are you traveling with
  7. See a major landmark (ie Angel of the North)
  8. Stopping at the lookouts
  9. Drive through a national park
  10. Passing colorful fields
  11. Drive through the woods
  12. stopping at a beach
  13. See animals in the fields along the road.
  14. Find a country pub for lunch
  15. Driving through mountainous areas
  16. Cross a border (i.e. from England to Scotland)
  17. going over bridges
  18. Take secondary roads instead of highways
  19. hilly roads
  20. the amount of traffic

Top 10 things that distract drivers from having a more memorable trip

  1. Much traffic
  2. Drive a route traveled before/familiar with
  3. Bad road conditions
  4. talking to passengers
  5. Follow a sat nav/GPS
  6. Listen to the radio/podcast
  7. Trying to avoid road work
  8. Singing along to the music
  9. Concern about how much fuel is left
  10. Checking how economically I’m driving on the board

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