Is today one of those days where you woke up full of energy and ready to take on the world? But as you head to your car to leave for work, anticipatory car park anxiety starts to hit you: “Uh oh! There goes my mood for the day”.
“Parking anxiety” might sound dramatic but it is more common than you would think. It stems from the uncertainty of whether you will find a parking spot once you reach your destination. Will I have to go around and around not knowing where to park? Will I be late? Am I holding other cars while the traffic lights go from red to green?!
In our undeniably bustling urban communities, parking anxiety is something that a lot of people experience. Truth be told, you may not even realize you’re experiencing it. Such a great deal of our everyday lives is filled with stressful circumstances that we just anticipate a degree of stress as normal. Add to that the COVID-19 pandemic, a time where safety, hygiene, and avoiding crowds are of utmost importance, and you have the perfect recipe for parking-related anxiety.
“A fear of parking would fall under the category of situational phobias, like flying in an airplane or visiting the dentist,” says Ryan McKelley, Ph.D., department of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. “It’s also possible that parking garages and ramps can trigger the same fear response seen in claustrophobia (fear of confined spaces) or agoraphobia (fear of a public place where making a quick exit is difficult).”
What are Parking Anxiety Symptoms?
With heavy traffic, impatient drivers, and a lack of easy parking available, driving in cities can be a stressful experience.
“I spend ages before I leave home, googling maps and wondering if it is parallel street parking; whether there are enough spaces in the nearest car park; and how much longer it will take me to get to my destination if I have to account for finding a car parking space,” says Paula, a daily commuter.
Parking anxiety symptoms may vary but they typically include:
- Adrenaline (your fight-or-flight response)
- Racing heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Sweaty palms
- A sense of claustrophobia
You start to feel the fight-or-flight response of adrenaline and cortisol flowing through your body, but you are trapped in the enclosed space of the car, and the task of finding a parking space is imminent. This means that your body’s desire to run is not fulfilled. These extreme sensations can cause psychological distress.
Can I experience Parking Anxiety while at home?
Yes. It’s not just the act of finding a parking space while driving your car that can make you nervous. The very thought of using your car could also activate parking anxiety. According to a study carried out by AA in 2016, 1 in 10 people said there had been times they’d decided not to use their car out of fear they wouldn’t find another available space on their return. Another survey by Nissan in 2018 in the UK found that 39% of drivers felt scared, nervous, uneasy, or uncertain behind the wheel in general, and 27% of respondents said they had a fear of parking.
How do I Banish Parking Anxiety?
We’ve got good news! Pre-booking parking spaces using the KERB app will easily help you overcome your parking anxiety.
Pre-book your parking space on the KERB website or app on-the-go. Hourly, daily, or monthly basis – so you’re set for however long you may need to park. Moreover, you’ll always know beforehand if it’s the right parking space for you, as you can choose where it’s located and what features it has.
KERB allows you to enjoy hidden spaces exclusively, such as residential driveways, spacious hotels, and quiet church parking lots. You can avoid the crowds, and even better, avoid the high hourly fees that usually come with pay and display parking lots. In addition, you can forget coins (and hand sanitizer) by using frictionless payments with cards, PayPal, and eWallets.
If “find parking near me” is one of your top searches, KERB is your new best friend! Live your mornings stress-free with enough time to grab that cuppa coffee.