We can thank Ford for reminding us in a not-so-thinly-veiled advertisement that driving on the most frequently traveled day of the year can be “stressful”—just in time for Memorial Day to roll around. But apparently it’s true: between gas prices, traffic, and fellow rage-inducing motorists, driving on the weekend is that sort of nausea-inducing activity that once allowed our society to invent the execrable word “staycation.”
The American Automobile Association estimates in their annual Memorial Day Travel Forecast (PDF) that this year, about 35 million drivers will ply the byways and backroads of our fair nation for at least 50 miles away from home—an increase of 1.2 percent from last year. Driving will account for 88 percent of travel, and 30 million drivers will be driving an average of 642 miles this weekend.
And according to a survey commissioned by Ford and Harris Interactive, one-third of American drivers fretted over the cost of gas, 23 percent said that traffic is the most stressful, and 17 percent found other drivers (especially those in traffic) the most anxiety-inducing part of Memorial Day. About 11 percent said that packing (and subsequently unpacking) was the worst, and less than 5 percent said that picking the best route—fastest, most scenic, what have you—was the most stressful.
Finally, about 8 percent—how many percents are we at now?—claimed blissful ignorance, saying that absolutely nothing stressed them out, indicating that they are either cold, calculating assassin robots or simply nestling between the sheets.
By an absolutely amazing coincidence—seriously, what are the odds—Ford would like you to know that of course, all of this stress could be alleviated if your car came equipped with a hands-free power liftgate, Blind Spot Information System, SYNC connectivity with voice-activated MyFord Touch and turn-by-turn navigation, a powerful, fuel-efficient lineup of all-new Ecoboost engines, class-leading fuel economy, and crisp new styling as available on the 2013 Ford Escape. Didn’t see that coming.