Survey finds road trips can improve relationships

(September 27, 2012) DEARBORN, Mich. — Taking a road trip with your significant other? Chances are good the time together will improve your relationship. In fact, 91 percent of couples have taken road trips together, and 84 percent agree the experience has strengthened their relationship, according to a new survey of more than 1,000 couples released by collaborating with Ford Motor Company., the digital leader in love and relationships, found other interesting relationship tidbits in its survey, as well. For instance, plenty of couples have a “back-seat driver” on board who “helps” the real driver negotiate the road:

    • 32 percent tell the driver they’re driving too fast
    • 27 percent tell them they’re going the wrong way
    • 22 percent tell them they’re not paying enough attention to their surroundings/traffic
    • 15 percent chide them for driving too slowly

After guiding the driver, the second most popular back-seat driving technique involves physical actions like holding the dashboard or pressing an invisible brake. In third place comes gasping and making other sounds of fright.
Togetherness on the road presents an opportunity for quality time among couples in all sorts of ways.
Sixty-three percent of respondents agree or strongly agree they are affectionate with their partner while driving; they hold hands or share a kiss at a red light. Fifty-seven percent say driving is a good time to discuss important topics with their spouse or partner.
In fact, respondents said their three favorite ways to pass the time are:
    • Talking and catching up with each other (63 percent)
    • Blasting our favorite music (60 percent)
    • Getting some quiet time and taking in the sights (37 percent)

“We were excited to learn Ford is eager to provide couples a space to communicate and enjoy quality time together on the road — such an insightful, worthwhile objective,” says YourTango CEO Andrea Miller. “With so many couples struggling with stress and looking for ways to stay connected, we can now offer a new, easy answer: Try going on a road trip!”
The car's interior comfort is definitely a factor in road trip success, say YourTango respondents. Seventy-three percent say a car’s interior affects their level of comfort on the road; 42 percent say the noises their car makes affects their driving experience; and 77 percent say an upgrade to the features of their vehicle would improve their togetherness in the car.
Additional survey findings include:
    • 56 percent say the best driving conversations focus on the present — sights, news, other drivers, followed by 19 percent who say the best discussions involve the future: marriage, kids, home buying, etc.
    • 35 percent of couples surveyed have been on eight or more road trips together
    • 68 percent describe their road trips as “fun-filled” or “relaxing”

Survey details and additional insights are available on