Study: Americans spend 18 days in their car per year, forge close bonds with a vehicle

April 27, 2019

Americans spend so much time behind the wheel that a new study showed drivers actually forge close-knit bonds with their cars.

The average American spends 18 days driving per year, with an average of eight hours and 22 minutes per week, a OnePoll study conducted on behalf of Cooper Tire found. The survey polled 2,000 American car owners to learn how much time they spend driving, but also dug deeper to understand if drivers still have a connection with their cars. 

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Despite a rise in ride-sharing services and budding autonomous vehicle technology, 64 percent of respondents said they actually consider their car a friend.

Interestingly, they'd also prefer a few wild scenarios over having something happen to their cars. For example, 15 percent said they would rather break a bone in their own body than have their car breakdown. Another 21 percent said they'd spend one night in jail than see their car be totaled. Further, 13 percent said they would break up with their partner before saying goodbye to their car.

Of the vehicle owners who participated, almost half (45 percent) said they've cried when parting ways with a particular car. Over half (52 percent) said they still regret letting go of a particular car during their lifetime. It's clear Americans still think of the car as a place where memories are made, too. Per the study, seven out of ten Americans said they have at least one fond memory of time spent in the car.

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The results underscore how Americans are incredibly reliant upon cars even today. Although the majority of time spent behind the wheel may be in point A to point B scenarios, the American love affair with the automobile still appears strong.

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