Young drivers resort to ‘auto-isolation’ to escape people they live with – poll

Young drivers are seeking solitude in their cars during the coronavirus lockdown, a new survey suggests.

Some 30% of those aged 18 to 24 have escaped their household by finding an excuse to go for a drive, an AA poll of 18,000 motorists indicated.

This is compared with just 8% across all age groups.

One in 25 young drivers have used their car as an office during the pandemic.

The vast majority (84%) of respondents aged 18-24 said they have taken action of some sort to give themselves space away from people they live with, compared with an average across all age ranges of 62%.

Respondents aged 65 and over were the most likely to say they have sought time alone in a garage (17%) or garden shed (14%).

The most common form of escapism across for drivers in general is spending time in the garden (53%).

AA president Edmund King told the PA news agency: “Our study clearly shows that more than eight in 10 younger adults are finding being in enforced isolation with other members of their household very difficult.

“Many older teenagers and students have had their exams cancelled and are also suffering socially during lockdown. Some have resorted to ‘auto-isolation’ by using their cars to get away from it all.

“Putting your life on hold at just the moment you are beginning to explore it independently is a huge challenge.

“We urge people feeling the strain to talk about their issues rather them keeping them pent up in their cars.”

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