Just 4 in 10 Very Likely to Offer Assistance to a Broken Down Motorist

Less than 40% of motorists would stop and offer assistance to a driver who has experienced a car breakdown according to a recent survey.

In response to a survey of over 5,000 motorists undertaken by AA Rescue, the breakdown assistance wing of AA Ireland, 38.79% of respondents indicated that in the event of encountering a broken down vehicle they would be very likely to offer the driver assistance.
Meanwhile, a further 35.59% indicated that they would be somewhat likely to offer assistance but would have some reservations in doing so.

Of those surveyed, almost 55% indicated that concerns about their personal safety would be one of the key factors preventing them from offering assistance to a broken down motorist. 16.91% of respondents ‘strongly agreed’ that they would not stop out of fear of jeopardising their safety with a further 37.41% ‘somewhat agreeing’ this was the case.


“Breakdowns are almost an unavoidable part of motoring life as even if you follow all the manufacturer’s servicing guidelines things will unfortunately go wrong. With this in mind it’s important for motorists to consider who they would be able to contact for assistance if they were to have a car issue as there is at least some reluctance on the part of passing motorists to offer help,”
 Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs stated. “Ultimately, people always have to prioritise their own personal safety and it’s understandable that people would choose to do so, but breakdowns can be a huge cause of stress so even offering the affected motorist use of your phone could be a huge help.”

Unsurprisingly, the survey did find an increased willingness on the behalf of respondents to offer assistance to an elderly driver who had suffered a breakdown.

When asked about a hypothetical breakdown affecting an elderly driver, 54.35% of respondents stated they would be very likely to stop and offer assistance, with a further 30.07% describing themselves as somewhat likely to do so.

“Many of us will have experienced a breakdown at some point in the past so we have a degree of sympathy any time we come across one and will clearly be willing to offer assistance in some cases. However, individual motorists need to give some thought to their own breakdown planning, particularly if they’re not highly knowledgeable in terms of basic car repairs,” Faughnan added.

“Whether it’s the AA, your spouse, a family member or friend you want to know who you will be contacting in the event of a breakdown. The last thing you want during the panic that a breakdown will cause is to find yourself searching through your contacts questioning who out of your friends, family and co-workers knows the most about car repairs!”

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