The most common causes of in in-car arguments and how to avoid them

Helpful information for the school holidays.
Helpful information for the school holidays. Photo credit: Getty Images

Arguments in the car while on a long drive are always going to happen, especially if there are restless kids or the temperature is irritatingly high - but there are ways to avoid them.

New research commissioned by Budget Rentals NZ has looked into the biggest causes of in-car conflict and dad's infamous "shortcuts" are one of the main culprits.

Indeed, the most common reason an argument breaks out while on the road is incorrect directions, with 40 percent of people surveyed this as their biggest issue. That's followed by missing a turn with 29 percent, then just behind that, wanting to stop for food.

Other reasons include squabbles over the type of music being played, with 22 percent saying that was their biggest issue; meanwhile needing a bathroom break was named the biggest cause by 18 percent of respondents.

Also, 43 percent of parents who have taken their children on a road trip say they have stopped the car and threatened not to drive any further after an argument, and on average it takes just 31 minutes into the journey for an argument to start.

"Our research shows the car can be a high-pressure place. But with the right planning, a road trip can be an unforgettable way to spend a holiday together," says Lee Marshall, general manager at Budget NZ.

"We want everyone to enjoy their upcoming road trips, stress-free, so they can keep their attention focused on the road and get to the good stuff safely."

How to avoid in-car arguments:

Pre-plan your route

With 29 percent of arguments stemming from the driver taking a wrong turn, consider mapping out your next journey before you go. Use a navigational device, or make sure your rental has one. Another good tip is to download your map directions ahead of time so you're not reliant on data if your reception cuts out.

Hey Mr DJ

Choosing a podcast to listen to is another way to avoid the great music debate. But if all else fails, give the kids headphones to listen to their own music, keeping them entertained and quiet while avoiding the 18 percent chance of an argument breaking out due to overly talkative passengers.

Pack snacks and plan toilet stops

Stopping for a breather or a bite to eat gives everyone a chance to stretch their legs and get some fresh air. It's also the perfect excuse to use the bathroom, minimising the chance of you being in the 18 percent of families who fight over needing to stop for a bathroom break.

Do you have any tips for keeping everyone chilled and relaxed while on the road? Head to our Newshub Travel Facebook group and share them with us.