Survey: Americans falling out of love with cars?

The always fascinating social research of the Pew Research Center included a new report Tuesday that sends a shiver down the spine of car lovers everywhere (you know who you are).
In a new report titled "Americans and Their Cars: Is the Romance on the Skids?" Pew researchers compare the results of a Gallup poll from 1991 on Americans' attitude toward their cars to the results of a 2006 survey, and the trends are disturbing. A few highlights:
  • only 69 percent of drivers say that they like to drive (down from 79 percent in 1991)
  • just 23 percent consider their car "something special - more than just a way to get around," compared to 43 percent 15 years ago
  • only 20 percent of American drivers say they like to drive "a great deal," down markedly from the 29 percent in 1991.
Much of the disenchantment seems to arise from increased traffic congestion, with high gasoline prices way down on drivers' list of annoyances. This isn't surprising - the report shows that the amount of time U.S. drivers spent stuck in traffic is 56 percent greater than it was 15 years ago.

Needless to say, we here at Autoblog HQ fall squarely in the group of unabashed car lovers. It seems to us that a more interesting survey would compare driver enjoyment for, say, Corvette drivers and Ford Taurus drivers, or Mustang drivers and minivan drivers. Maybe, just maybe, our love affair with cars has been tarnished by too many soulless products.

The report is a fun read - download the full report (pdf) here, or read the summary article here.

[Source: Pew Research Center]

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