DeAnn Owens
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Survey: Cars Help Americans Cope During COVID-19

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summer road trip
Summer road trip
Photo: Avinash Patel via Pexels

COVID-19 has made getting away from the stresses of daily life nearly impossible. Instead of the extended road trip or cross-country journey Americans dream of taking in summer, many cars are staying parked. But, that doesn’t mean cars aren’t important. In fact, according to a TrueCar survey, cars are providing an essential coping mechanism for drivers in 2020.

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Although most summers, drivers use their cars to spend quality time with their families, this summer cars are more for escaping family members.

The study of 2,000 Americans, which OnePoll conducted on behalf of TrueCar, revealed, “Nearly three in four (73 percent) use their set of wheels as a private space to get away from the people they live with.”

In addition to the “me time” trend of respondents, the survey also verbalized the emotional connection between drivers and their cars.

“Seven in 10 (69 percent) think of their car as an extension of their home and as a part of their family (68 percent),” according to the survey.

“The pandemic has increased our appreciation for the freedom and solitude you can get from a personal vehicle, but vehicles already hosted some of our most memorable life moments,” said Wendy McMullin, Director of Research at TrueCar. “And it makes sense, we spend a lot of time with our vehicles — about seven years on average for a new car.”

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Thirty-five percent of the survey respondents said they named their cars. Although I didn’t participate in the survey, my family and I would fall into this category. Growing up, my mom named our Oldsmobile.  As an adult, my husband and I were lucky to inherit a 1984 Oldsmobile Delta 88. We called it Sherman. It was a great car; eventually, it stopped going in reverse, though, so we sold it. Ah, memories — I guess emotional attachments to cars are definitely a thing.