A Sunday drive is an automobile trip, primarily in the United States and Australia, typically taken for pleasure or leisure on a Sunday, usually in the afternoon. During the Sunday drive, there is typically no destination and no rush.
The use of the automobile for the Sunday drive began in the 1920s and 1930s. The idea was that the automobile was not used for commuting or errands, but for pleasure. There would be no rush to reach any particular destination. The practice became increasingly popular throughout the 20th century. Parkways were constructed for recreational driving of this sort.
Traveling on Sunday by automobile is questioned by some Christians, due to observing Sunday Sabbath. While these parties consider the activity "leisure", they do not count it as "rest". Stricter Sabbatarians consider leisure activities to be Sabbath breaking, because excluded from the three permitted categories of works of piety, mercy, and necessity. Less strict Sabbath-keepers consider leisure to be "calling Sabbath a delight". This reflects Jewish tradition, in which delighting in the day, spending freely on food, and traveling leisurely (i.e., more aimlessly and unhurriedly, and for shorter distances than one would during the week) were widely considered appropriate for Shabbat. In many Jewish traditions, driving on Shabbat is prohibited or severely restricted.
Henry Ford was an advocate of the Sunday drive. He promoted Sunday as a day of activity rather than rest because it led to the sale of automobiles.
Effect of fuel prices
During the mid-2000s, as a result of higher gasoline prices, some have curtailed their Sunday drives. But after OPEC started increasing supply to hold market share against North American shale oil producers, oil and gasoline prices dropped to records levels leading some to go driving on Sunday again in the mid-2010s. Environmental awareness has also curtailed Sunday drives.
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