New Survey Reveals 30% Of Dads Will Absolutely 'Turn This Car Around'

Originally Published: 

A survey of over 12,000 dads separates fact from fiction when it comes to fathers and traveling with the family

We know the stereotypes of the traveling dad so well: the harried father threatening to turn the car around on a road trip (even though you are already 7 hours from home); the deeply concentrating dad using every square inch of the trunk like he’s playing Tetris; the over-prepared dad arriving at the airport five hours before your flight. We all know this man.

Well, over at The Dad (our… brother site??) they conducted a survey of over 12,000 fathers to find out what’s fact and what’s fiction. The resulting dad travel study — analyzed by data scientist, Ph.D., and dad Martin Flores — comes with some laughs and some universal truths, including the terrifying statistic that 30 percent of dads have indeed turned the car around — it’s not all bluffing! So settle down back there.

The facts about dad travel phrases

From real life to sitcoms, we know dad’s favorite things to say on road trips. In fact, we’re guessing that it was just moments after the actual invention of the wheel thousands of years ago, a dad shouted, “You should have peed before we left!” It’s tradition. It’s in the blood. It’s time to stop hitting your brother.

So, how are our favorite phrases doing in the real world?

According to the survey, 77.4 percent of dads have to quip about avoiding traffic by saying, “Glad we’re not going that way,” while 67.6 percent of dads also love the commentary, “People don’t know how to drive in this town!”

When it comes to pack the car for a trip, 70.5 percent of dads like to proudly crow, “That’s not going anywhere,” whether they’re tying on a kayak or some luggage. And before you leave, about half of dads will suggest that you “rock and roll.”

And if you’re going cross country, don’t think you can drive past some horses without dad pointing them out — at least 64 percent of the time.

Of course it wasn’t shocking to discover that 54 percent of dads have, in their history as dads, threatened to turn the car around. But we were pretty surprised to see that 30 percent of dads had indeed turned the car around — hope they weren’t going anywhere too great!

Dad: Getting you to the airport on time, sort of

Nobody likes to be late — we can all agree on that. But what about being so early that you had to sit out on the curb of the airport’s sidewalk and wait for security to open the building for the day? Because that’s how early my dad once dropped me off at the airport.

The survey found that the majority of dads like a lot of wiggle room before flying and like to arrive at the airport two solid hours before takeoff. Another 14 percent need 3 hours or more — with a very, very dad-like three percent arriving four hours or more before they need to fly.

We’re worried about the 17 percent who need an hour or less. Do NOT tell our dads about that.

Dads: Always waiting on everybody else?

Finally, the survey dug deep about how long dads have to wait for their kids to get out of the car.

Here, the field was split pretty evenly between “not long at all,” one minute, and two or more minutes. We would like to please meet anyone who has kids who jump out of the car — what is your secret, and is it threatening to turn the car around?

This article was originally published on