Driving anxiety is on the rise worldwide — increasing an alarming 84% since 2017, according to new research from Bill Plant Driving School.
The research team derived the data by looking at the number of Google searches for driving anxiety. The team found the number of searches rose steadily for four years, growing from 4,400 searches a month in November 2017 to 8,100 currently.
Moreover, searches for driving anxiety peaked between the months of March and August of 2021 when they stood at 9,900 a month.
The researchers also explored the various causes for jitters behind the wheel. Inclement weather appears to be the leading cause for worries at the wheel with driving in the snow ranking first with a search volume of almost 113,000. That was followed by driving in the rain, which generated some 59,200 Google searches.
Other common reasons for driving anxiety that ranked among the top five include the fear of having a panic attack while driving, which had a search volume of nearly 20,000. Fear of driving on highways ranked fourth, generating 9,420 Google searches, and fear of driving over bridges came in fifth with a search volume of 5,170.
Interestingly, fear of driving at night was not at the top of the list, coming in 14th place out of 20 common reasons. Yet, despite 60% less traffic on the roads, experts say more than 40% of all fatal car accidents in the U.S. occur at night.