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      Press Release
      November 20, 2018

      Stress, Fun and Superman – the Complex Emotions of German Drivers

      • Two thirds of respondents complain about traffic jams yet still enjoy driving
      • Member of the Continental Executive Board Helmut Matschi: “Connected driving equals relaxed driving”

      Hanover, November 20, 2018. If you were to sum up the emotions of German drivers, it would be that they are stressed out by traffic jams yet still enjoy driving and see themselves as Superman at the wheel. According to the 2018 Continental Mobility Study, two thirds of motorists – especially those living close to large cities – find congested roads and traffic jams stressful. However, just as many respondents still enjoy driving and consider themselves good or very good drivers.

      While the number of stressed drivers in Germany has remained at a high level over the last five years, the figure in Japan has increased from 50 to 64 percent. In addition, more than half of drivers in the U.S.A. (53 percent) find driving stressful, around the same number as five years ago (49 percent). By their own account, the Chinese are more relaxed, with the proportion of motorists complaining about traffic jams remaining unchanged at 40 percent. It is striking that in all four countries, the stress factor among passengers is almost as high as it is among the drivers themselves – even higher in China, where the figure for passengers is 47 percent compared with 40 percent for drivers. 

      “Intelligent mobility solutions and automated driving features are an effective way of reducing the stress factor. Thanks to total connectivity, drivers are more relaxed, which ultimately puts the fun back into driving. The driver retains control over whether to drive themselves or be driven,” said Helmut Matschi, the member of the Continental Executive Board responsible for the Interior division.

      Significantly less fun for passengers

      Despite the high level of stress, the figures for those who state that they still have fun while driving remain unchanged at around two thirds of respondents in Germany (64 percent) and the U.S.A. (62 percent). Among Chinese motorists, 69 percent now say that they enjoy driving, compared with 48 percent five years ago. For the Japanese, however, the fun has worn off. With 43 percent stating that they enjoy driving, this represents a fall of 14 percentage points compared with five years ago. It is also clear that traveling by car leaves most passengers cold, too: In Japan, only 9 percent of passengers enjoy traveling by car; in Germany, the figure stands at 43 percent. In the U.S.A. and China, around one in three passengers state that they enjoy traveling by car.

      When it comes to rating their own ability at the wheel, drivers in the U.S.A. are in a class of their own: 83 percent of American drivers consider themselves good or very good drivers. In China, this figure is 69 percent and in Germany 66 percent. The Japanese are the exception at 25 percent. The statements have hardly changed at all over the past five years, although back then many more Japanese respondents – around 50 percent – considered themselves “very good drivers.”

      Only in China do most people expect more widespread city center driving bans

      Despite increasing congestion in major cities worldwide, only in China do a majority of respondents (55 percent) expect driving bans in city centers. The figure stands at 40 percent in Germany, 20 percent in the U.S.A. and just 9 percent in Japan.

      For the 2018 Continental Mobility Study, the technology company commissioned infas, the market and social research institute, to conduct a representative survey of drivers in Germany, the U.S.A., Japan and China. Experts from the world of science and research as well as from the automotive industry were also interviewed. This makes the study one of the most comprehensive of its kind worldwide on the acceptance of advanced driver assistance systems and automated driving.

      ​​​​​​​Please click here for more information about the 2018 Mobility Study.

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