Younger Drivers vs. Older Drivers: How Do They Feel About Their Commutes?

When you get up and start preparing for your day, how do you feel about your commute? According to our recent CarGurus Commuting Sentiment Survey, that may depend on your age. We asked more than 1,200 drivers about their commute to and from work, and there was a notable difference in how younger and older drivers responded.

We learned that 66 percent of older drivers (aged 45 and higher) are more likely to be peeved by the behavior of their fellow commuters, citing it as their top commuting annoyance. In contrast, only 42 percent of young drivers are annoyed by others’ driving behavior. The survey uncovered that younger drivers feel more burdened by the cost of gas, with 51 percent noting it as a top commuting concern, compared to 43 percent of older drivers.

Overall, younger commuters report feeling more exasperated and tired by their commute. Perhaps as a result, when asked what they would do with their commuting time back, younger drivers wanted to do activities they found relaxing; 57 percent of younger drivers would want to sleep versus 51 percent of older drivers, and 49 percent of millennials wanted to spend time at the gym, compared to just 39 percent of older drivers.

And it turns out what these groups of commuters do in the car to entertain themselves is different, too.

Young drivers are more likely to listen to podcasts to keep themselves entertained behind the wheel: 26 percent of millennial drivers reported listening to podcasts compared to 19 percent of older drivers. And they’re more likely to sing along with music to keep themselves entertained (69%) compared to the general public (59%). And while some younger drivers tune into radio broadcasts, nearly half of older drivers listen to the radio.

Our survey did not uncover only differences, as there were also a lot of similarities across age groups. We discovered that regardless of age, driving to work was by far the most popular way to commute compared to taking public transit, walking and biking. In addition, we learned that drivers of all ages spend the same amount of time in the car, with over 50% of respondents facing a commute that ranges from 10 to 30 minutes.

The similarities continued with self-admitted bad driving behaviors. Speeding topped the list, but bad commuting behavior didn’t stop there. Half of drivers admitted to expanding their vocabulary with some “colorful” language, over 40 percent admitted to flipping the bird, and over 20 percent even punched a steering wheel. Check out our infographic below to learn more about how drivers feel about their commute.

How do you feel about your commute?

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