There's nothing quite like a roadtrip to bring a little frisson to your relationship.

Particularly a trip involving roads that are a little less well-known - throw in a spot of indelicate swearing at other drivers, a hearty debate about how fast is too fast and some screaming kids in the back and you've pretty much summed up the classic family roadie.

Thankfully, it seems we mellow with age.

A survey of 23,000 British drivers by AAPopulus found that two-in-three people argue in the car, with 18 to 24-year-olds more likely to fight than the over-65s.


Knowing the way to go was the most popular source of scrapping, with driving too fast, not asking for directions and noisy children following it up. Only the 35-44-year-old age group had a different top argument ignition point: noisy children.

For my money, the real automotive argument booster is more existential. When we're in the car, our psyche becomes unsettled. We're neither here nor there. We become "in-between" beings, our lives stripped of authenticity and meaning by a transient state.

For passengers, the existential angst is more profound. With no wheel to steer nor pedals to rev, we lose what it is that makes us conscious beings - the capacity for independent action and responsibility. No wonder we get scratchy.

But, hey, let's not argue about it.

The top 10 causes of in-car arguments, according to AAPopulus' survey
1. Knowing the way to go

2. Driving too fast

3. Not asking for directions

4. Noisy children


5. Shouting at other drivers

6. Temperature in the car

7. Not agreeing on where to eat

8. Not agreeing on what to listen to

9. Topic of conversation

10. Driving too slowly