Winter link to family ‘carguments’

The number of family in-vehicle rows – or “carguments” – rises during winter months.

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That’s according to a poll of 1,300 drivers by the RAC in the UK, which has found that as many as 54 per cent of motorists say they have arguments in the colder months.

A total of 15 per cent of drivers and passengers say they argue more in the car than anywhere else, with 19 per cent saying the mere act of driving left them stressed and angry, and 14 per cent feeling cooped up in a car.

The poll also showed that drivers argued most with their partners, followed by their children and parents.

One of the main causes was disagreements over the best route to take, followed by attempts to stop children squabbling.

Talking with passengers was seen as the biggest distraction, with as many as 21 per cent of drivers saying they feared a heated discussion could have caused an accident.

Almost one in five (19 per cent) think the act of driving itself causes them to get stressed and angry, while for 14 per cent it is the fact they are in a confined space and cannot escape when they get agitated.

Other common reasons for car spats include arguing over the best route (13 per cent) and trying to stop children fighting (6 per cent).

In many cases (43 per cent), “carguments” break out with partners followed then by children (10 per cent) and parents (5 per cent).

RAC spokesman Simon Williams says arguments can break out between family and friends at any time “but in the winter, where journeys can be delayed or take longer as a result of having to … take alternative routes, it can be particularly stressful.

“Many ‘carguments’ actually begin well before getting into the car and just get worse as a result of being in a confined space together,” he said.

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