Would you pull over and help a stranded motorist? New research shows that only 14 per cent of those questioned in the South-East would stop.
The slim chance of drivers without breakdown cover being rescued will often depend on your gender, the clothes you’re wearing and the area in which you are driving, according to the poll by Nationwide FlexPlus current account.
With flat tyres, overheating engines and blown gaskets a common feature of the bank holiday rush, the poll of 2,000 motorists reveals 86 per cent of drivers refuse to help a fellow motorist.
While only 14% of South-East drivers would help out, in the North-West the total is 24% and at the other end of the table just 4% of those in Northern Ireland would oblige.
More than eight in ten (84%) across the UK said that nobody stopped for them when they last broke down.
The research shows the biggest causes of breakdown is a flat battery (23%), engine failure (21%) and a flat tyre (15%). A further six per cent ran out of fuel and one in 20 (5%) reported a snapped clutch cable as the issue. However, one in six (16%) drivers have no cover in place whatsoever, leaving them entirely at the mercy of fellow motorists for help.
And despite nearly three-quarters of drivers (73%) suffering breakdowns on busy roads, the research found more than half of motorists (51%) admitted to feeling no guilt when zipping past a stranded driver.
And even for those with breakdown cover, nearly a third (30%) of those polled who had broken down in the past would have to rely on other drivers for help due to either having no access to a phone, no phone signal, low or no phone battery at the time.
Of those who broke down, one in seven (15%) were stranded in bad weather or on a dark road (9%).
The main reasons for not stopping included people thinking they were unable to offer any help (54%), believing it wasn’t safe to stop (52%), fearing the stranded driver was an unsavoury character (33%), thinking it could be a trap (27%), assuming help was already on the way (22%), or simply driving too fast to stop (20%). However, the research revealed a number of key factors that could be the difference in being rescued or left by the roadside. These include gender, location and appearance:
Gender split: Women are three times more likely to be rescued from the side of the road, with three-quarters (72%) stating they would assist a female driver compared to less than a quarter (23%) who would stop for a man. But when it comes to stopping, men (46%) are twice as likely as women (23%) to assist.
There is also a clear difference between the genders when it comes to the reasons for not stopping. Many more women drive past a fellow motorist on the basis of thinking they couldn’t help. The stats also shows that women appear much more concerned with their safety than men, while men are far more likely to be driving past too fast to stop.
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