Sur­vey: In-laws on outer as pas­sen­gers

Piako Post - - MOTORING - DAVID LIN­KLATER

There are much worse fates than be­ing stuck in traf­fic with your boss, Kiwi driv­ers say.

The AA has con­ducted a Face­book sur­vey ask­ing whether peo­ple would most hate to be stuck in traf­fic with hun­gry kids, their in-laws, their boss or a wasp.

The pre­ferred choice turned out to be the boss, while the wasp was hands-down re­garded as the worst com­pan­ion, fol­lowed by hun­gry kids.

AA spokesman Bar­ney Irvine says the ques­tion was part of a poll de­signed to pro­vide in­sights into peo­ple’s per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences of con­ges­tion.

‘‘Over the last year we’ve set up a con­ges­tion mon­i­tor­ing tool, and this gives us fan­tas­tic hard data on how long trips are tak­ing in Auck­land, Welling­ton and Christchurch. We wanted to bal­ance that with data on what peo­ple are think­ing and feel­ing.

‘‘We ac­tu­ally ended up feel­ing a bit bad about the wasp ques­tion be­cause it turns out that quite a few peo­ple have had nasty ex­pe­ri­ences – and even crashes – as a re­sult of a wasp in their car.’’

The AA also asked Face­book users what caused the big­gest de­lays to their nor­mal com­mute out of wet weather, road­works or a mi­nor crash ahead of them. Road­works was seen as the big­gest de­lay-maker by 50 per cent of re­spon­dents, with the rest of the votes an even split be­tween the other two op­tions.

‘‘What this re­flects is the scale of the road­works in cities like Auck­land and Christchurch.

‘‘Auck­land has ma­jor road­works on key cor­ri­dors like the South­ern and North­west­ern Mo­tor­ways, while Christchurch has had con­stant – and con­stantly chang­ing – road­works all over the city since the earth­quakes. This has taken its toll on mo­torists.’’

Irvine says that even smallscale road­works would re­duce traf­fic through­put by 5 per cent or more. ‘‘So you can imag­ine the im­pact once they start tak­ing up a lot of lane space to dig up the road.’’

Mean­while, 77 per cent of re­spon­dents said that the evening com­mute was more con­gested than the trip to work.

‘‘Peo­ple gen­er­ally do a lot more driv­ing in the evening – pick­ing up kids, do­ing the shop­ping, go­ing to the gym, and so on – and that adds up to more con­ges­tion.

‘‘Our data shows that the trip home can of­ten take 10-20 per cent longer than the trip to work.’’

There’s also a psy­cho­log­i­cal el­e­ment, with de­lays on the trip home eat­ing into pre­cious time with the fam­ily.

Con­ges­tion is worse in the evening be­cause peo­ple have so much more to do on their way home.

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