Aceable Report Spotlights Lack of Driver Confidence on the Road

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Digital-first driver’s education platform finds Americans face more driving anxiety today

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Today Aceable, the digital driver’s education platform, released a new report revealing that the lack of time Americans have spent driving over the past two years has had significant long-term impacts - namely, higher driving anxiety and road rage.

Aceable’s Parent & Teen Drivers Post-Pandemic Research states that 92% of people drove less over the past two years than before March 2020. And now, even though 73% of people are driving at the same levels as before, 27% of people are still driving less than pre-pandemic. More than half of these (53%) state they feel more anxious about driving now than they did prior to March 2020 with Gen Z drivers (ages 18-25) 22% more likely to say they experience driving anxiety.

What is causing this anxiety? 47% of drivers admit that a lack of drive-time during the pandemic caused their driving abilities to deteriorate. But their anxiety doesn’t stem solely from a lack of trust in their own abilities, but also that of fellow drivers. 58% worry that other drivers’ skills have worsened since the pandemic’s onset, and a third of those on the road do not feel confident in the driving abilities of others behind the wheel.

Drivers also experience anxiety due to varying road conditions such as time of day and destination. Of those experiencing driving anxiety, 42% say that the morning causes more anxiety while driving than any other time of the day and 39% feel anxiety caused by traffic congestion. As more employees make the return to office, work-related stress can impact a commute with 52% of respondents mentioning work stress as a source of driving-related anxiety. Coupled with an extended period of time away from the wheel, an increase in commuters on the road can make for a stressful driving experience.

Driving with anxiety can have potentially dangerous outcomes, especially because anxiety in drivers tends to manifest in harmful habits and reactions like road rage. 68% of drivers expressed they’ve seen an increase in road rage from other drivers compared to pre-pandemic. But nobody is immune: 62% admitted to increased feelings of road rage themselves since getting back on the road in 2022, with men 22% more likely to say this. Anxiety and road rage are significant distractions for those in the driver's seat. Most of the time, a defensive driving mindset is put on the back burner, increasing the risk of accidents.

“It’s clear drivers want to return to the road after two years of pandemic shutdowns and isolation from friends and family,” said Aceable Senior Driving Analyst Laura Adams. “But it’s alarming to see both an increase in anxiety and road rage in drivers hitting the road today. For many, the reality is that a lack of practice has impacted driving skills. That correlates to the data showing drivers are more anxious and quicker to anger. So, drivers should brush up on driving skills to be safer behind the wheel.”

According to Aceable’s report, defensive driving courses are in high demand post-pandemic, with 64% of respondents indicating they have taken a course since the onset of the pandemic. In order to meet the demand and make courses more accessible as well as convenient, Aceable made history with the launch of a first-of-its-kind audio-only defensive driving course. The course, available now in Texas and with plans to expand, is designed to play like a podcast with audio in the background, allowing consumers to cut out hours of screen time and ingest information in the way that works best for them.

Additional findings from Aceable’s Parent & Teen Drivers Post-Pandemic Research include data correlated to teen driving anxiety as a result of the pandemic. 9 in 10 parents reported their teen postponed getting their license because they were anxious about driving. This is largely due to a lack of driving experience caused by pandemic shutdowns, adding getting a license to the list of ways COVID-19 has impacted how people go about their day to day lives.

About Aceable
Aceable is a digital education platform that exists to provide unparalleled, accredited digital driving training to build the life people want. Named one of the Best Places to Work in Austin for multiple years running by numerous entities, including Austin Business Journal, BuiltInAustin and EqualOcean, Aceable is headquartered in Austin, TX, but our team works remotely across select states in the U.S. For more information, visit http://www.aceable.com

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