Why Do People Sit in a Parked Car for a Long Time?

A more common occurrence these days is people that sit in a parked car for a long time. They just sit in their vehicle, seemingly doing nothing, sometimes for hours on end. Perhaps you’ve even done this yourself. While many might perceive this behavior as strange or even nefarious, there are some reasonable explanations for why people park their cars and sit in them.

People sit in their cars to get away for a mental health break

Bearded man sitting in an SUV, highlighting why people sit in parked cars for a long time
Man sits in an SUV | Chris Lynch via Unsplash

Many people lead very busy lives full of stress and distractions. In contrast, a quiet and enclosed environment of a car provides a good respite to spend some quality alone time.

One can enter their cocooned vehicle, get away from the commotion — and relax and enjoy a nice mental health break to clear their mind. As detailed by WXFB, nearly three out of four people use their cars for mental health breaks, whether it’s for drives or sitting in them. Also, this practice especially increased during the pandemic lockdowns — and continues today. 

Drivers rest in their vehicles during long trips

Woman sitting in VW Beetle, highlighting why people park and sit in their cars for a long time
Woman sits in VW Beetle | Jeremy Bishop via Unsplash

Another reason why people park their cars and sit in them is to rest during long trips. Long trips can be mentally and physically exhausting, so it’s important to take a break and rest. This is true not only for long-haul truck drivers but also for any driver that goes on a lengthy journey. 

People sit in a car during their lunch break at work

Many people have jobs in which their employers provide a place to take a lunch break. However, for some types of jobs, such as landscapers and construction crews, there might not be a suitable place to eat, so one heads to their parked vehicle. Also, sometimes it’s nice to physically get away from work and take a break in a car.

Listen to music in a car

Man relaxing in back seat of car, highlighting why people sit in parked cars for a long time
Man sits in car | Joshua Oluwagbemiga via Unsplash

With the closed environment and good acoustics, a car is a perfect place to listen to music. Some vehicles also have high-quality audio systems, which makes it even more enjoyable to play your favorite songs.

Furthermore, you can get in your vehicle, crank up the music — and sing and belt out the tunes. As shown by studies, singing in your car is both a physically and mentally healthy activity.

Use a car to think, make phone calls, text, work, or do other activities

RELATED: A Car Is the Best Place for Difficult Conversations — Here’s Why

As detailed in an earlier article, a car is a great place for creative thinking. You can think of some great ideas and make plans while in your vehicle. People also sit in their parked cars and do other activities, such as make phone calls, text, send emails, use social media, and view internet sites.

Many people even use a car to work. Sadly, especially during the height of the pandemic, some people with poor internet connections (or none at all) drove to spots within reach of Wi-Fi internet access just so they could get some work done.

As you can see, there are many perfectly good reasons why people sit in a parked car for a long time. Hanging out in a car is not just an activity for cops on a stakeout or the prying eyes of stalkers. The next time you need an escape or a place to relax, think, listen to music, or take a mental health break, head to your car.

RELATED: Driving Is Great for Creative Thinking to Get Big Ideas — Here’s Why