When Couples Hit the Road, Relationships Hit the Rocks

REDMOND, Wash., May 25, 2004 — Buckle up; if you hit the road this summer with that special someone, you could be in for a bumpy ride. Nearly 80 percent of male drivers and half of female drivers say they have a better sense of direction than their significant other, according to a recent independent travel survey commissioned by Microsoft Corp. 1 In fact, 75 percent of couples surveyed said driving directions are a major source of auto arguments.

Are American couples headed for a fork in the relationship highway? All the signs say yes. According to the survey, the two biggest factors contributing to in-car tension appear to be the stark differences in male and female driving patterns and the increasing time couples spend in the car. Although 80 percent of female drivers consult a map when lost, half of male drivers prefer to keep driving until they find their way. Seventy-five percent of couples said they routinely spend time together in the car, and with the summer travel season right around the corner, the strain may have many couples putting the brakes on love.

Whether it is traveled on four wheels, two wheels or even two feet, the road to romance can be a rocky one. Relationship expert, author and award-winning public speaker David Coleman, known nationwide as The Dating Doctor ( http://www.datingdoctor.com/ ), offers the following three tips to help couples steer clear of relationship roadblocks this summer:

  • Share the responsibility, double the fun. Be sure to divide the driving time, travel planning, packing, trip navigation and turns at the gas pump. Splitting road trip responsibilities down the center lane will ensure couples reach their destination in good spirits.

  • Know where you’re going. Planning a trip ahead of time and building in stops for meals, bathroom breaks, refueling and fun points of interest such as landmarks or museums will decrease in-car tension and provide things to look forward to along the way. A comprehensive mapping software package such as Microsoft®
    Streets & Trips is an easy way to customize highly detailed driving directions, add points of interest such as tourist attractions and restaurants, plan multiple stops, and make the most of any road trip.

  • Create your memory lane. Hit the road with a camera to create a personalized memory lane. Stop at landmarks and roadside attractions, if even for a few minutes, and have a picture taken in a consistent pose — hug it up or ham it up. It’s guaranteed to keep things festive, and all those pictures will serve as an excellent reminder of good times long after the trip is over.


Microsoft Streets & Trips 2004 is available for an estimated retail price of $49.95 (U.S.) and comes with a $10 (U.S.) mail-in rebate 2 (certain rebate offer restrictions apply). More information about Streets & Trips can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/streets/ . Those wanting to learn more about the portfolio of home software titles available from the Microsoft Home Retail Division can visit http://www.microsoft.com/discover/ .

About Streets & Trips 2004

Microsoft Streets & Trips 2004 is the ultimate way to get accurate driving directions to and from anywhere in the United States and Canada, find new places and points of interest around town, and get where you’re going quickly. Streets & Trips 2004 provides access to 6.7 million miles of roads and highways, 1.3 million points of interest (even gas stations and ATMs), free road construction updates via the Web, and Pocket PC compatibility so you can take your maps with you on the road. Create personalized maps based on driving styles and even add notes, highlight favorite hangouts, and share maps with friends via e-mail and the Web. New features include color-coded one-way streets, real-time GPS support and drive-time zones to help you cut the commute.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

1 Source: MarketFacts survey sponsored by Microsoft, margin of error +/- 3 percent. Fielded April 16–19, 2004.

2 Actual retail prices may vary.

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