Research released today by leading motor oil manufacturer Castrol reveals that British motorists appear to have lost their roadside chivalry as nearly two thirds (64 per cent) claim that they have never stopped to help someone broken down on the side of the road.
Breakdowns are a common occurrence on Britain’s roads with three and a half million breakdowns being reported by The AA in 2010 with this number set to increase with another harsh winter on its way.
The research, carried out amongst 2,000 UK motorists, uncovered that of those who had broken down on Britain’s roads, over half (58 per cent) of people were left to struggle alone, with only one in ten reporting a woman (9 per cent) stopping to help, in comparison to a third (33 per cent) benefitting from male assistance on the side of the road.
The research demonstrated that we can be a very superficial bunch, with one in ten (11 per cent) claiming that they would be more likely to stop to assist someone who was broken down if they thought they were attractive.
The figure rises to 24 per cent for men. Luckily we aren’t all so shallow - almost half (47 per cent) would stop to help if they felt the broken down individual appeared vulnerable or frail.
Unsurprisingly, the subject of safety when broken down on the side of the road is a larger concern for females rather than males, with 27 per cent of women admitting to feeling unsafe when broken down compared to 18 per cent of men.
Amongst Brits, those living in East Anglia have more chance than the rest of the country to have a helpful individual offer assistance with 44 per cent claiming they have stopped to help a stranded motorist.
Whereas those based in the North East may find themselves waiting for the break down lorry on their own with almost three quarters (71 per cent) claiming they wouldn’t stop for anyone.
The most helpful age group for broken down motorists is 45-54 year olds with 49 per cent saying that they would stop, compared to the 25-34 year olds, of whom 70 per cent said they would not consider stopping to help even if they saw someone they felt was frail and vulnerable.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, those aged 18-24 are the most likely to stop if they thought the driver was attractive (15 per cent) and just over a fifth (22 per cent) would stop if they thought the driver was of a similar age.
Hannah Waller, Castrol spokesperson said: "It’s unfortunately not surprising that more British motorists are concerned about stopping to help others in need when broken down on the side of the road nowadays, as safety is always a primary concern amongst both the stranded motorist and the individual offering assistance.
"To help ensure safety when driving, motorists should take care to try and reduce the risk of breaking down through always making sure they keep on top of their car maintenance.
"In particular the simplest of maintenance tasks can ensure you avoid preventable breakdowns, such as topping up your water and oil and checking tyre pressures regularly."
Tagged in Motoring