According to The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 31,720 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes from January through September 2021. That was up 12% from the year before and was the highest level for the comparable period since 2006.
One reason may be that vehicle miles driven in the United States rose 11.7% over the same period to 244 billion. However, other causes have not changed in recent years. Among the most preventable causes were drunk driving and distracted driving, which includes talking on the phone and texting. Despite the danger of these habits, the federal government believes the outcomes can be improved. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg commented on the results: “This is a national crisis. We cannot and must not accept these deaths as an inevitable part of everyday life.”
New research shows that what kills and injures people when they drive may be different from what scares them. According to the Driving Anxiety – How to Overcome Nerves on the Road report from the Bill Plant Driving School, “Looking at the number of Google searches for driving anxiety since 2017, we can see that the number of people suffering from driving worries has definitely been on the rise, increasing from 4,400 searches a month in November 2017, to 8,100 today, an increase of 84%.”
The study used search data from Google Ads Keyword Planner, referring to global searches made between November 2020 and October 2021. The most common search was “driving in the snow” at 112,900 searches. “Driving in the rain” was a distant second.
These are the 20 most common reasons people are scared to drive:
- Driving in snow (112,900)
- Driving in rain (59,200)
- Panic attack while driving (19,800)
- Driving on highway (9,420)
- Driving over bridges (5,170)
- Driving test anxiety (4,760)
- Driving in wind (3,700)
- Driving lesson anxiety (3,680)
- Driving in unfamiliar places (2,950)
- Driving alone (2,130)
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