Balanced on two wheels, and perched on a thin piece of metal, bikes are vulnerable to clumsy oafs and politicians. New research commissioned by ContractHireAndLeasing.com has highlighted the shocking proportion of UK car drivers who would drive off if they caused damage to another vehicle and there were no witnesses around to see them.

 

According to the company’s findings, almost one-third (30 per cent) of UK drivers stated that if they had a minor accident and caused a small amount of damage to another vehicle, they would simply leave the scene of the accident without leaving their details.

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Meanwhile, four per cent of respondents stated they would leave the scene even if they had caused considerable damage to another car.

 

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Overall, just 52 per cent of respondents stated they would either wait for the owner to return or ensure they left full contact details so they could be contacted at a later date to pay for any necessary repairs.

Across the UK, a number of regional variations in the results were revealed, with motorists from Scotland shown to be the most trustworthy, with 63 per cent of Scottish drivers falling into this latter category.

This compared to motorists in the north-east who were shown to be the least considerate – with 36 per cent stating they would leave the scene without passing on their details.

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Broken down by cities, Glaswegians were shown to be the most honest drivers in the UK, with 70 per cent always leaving their contact details, followed by residents in Southampton (65 per cent) and Hull (64 per cent).

In contrast, the worst performers were shown to be residents of Newcastle (seven per cent), Milton Keynes (eight per cent), Oxford (ten per cent) and Brighton (12 per cent).

The report also showed a large difference between the behaviour of different age groups, with seven per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds stating they would leave the scene of an accident no matter the extent of damage caused, compared to just one per cent of over-65s who made the same claim.

Perhaps surprisingly, the income of the perpetrators of these offences also appeared to have little bearing on their behaviour, with both low and high earners equally likely to avoid owning up to their actions.

Middle-income earners were somewhat more likely to act honourably though, with 53 per cent of this group stated they would always leave their details to be contacted at a later date – this compared to 43 per cent for other groups.

Steve Clarke, Group Marketing Manager for The Fuelcard People, was less than surprised by the results of this survey: “Even our politicians fail to set an example. Ed Balls, The Shadow Chancellor, has not only been caught speeding on the M62 and jumping red lights in London, but has just been fined £1,000 for hitting another car and driving off without reporting it.” Clarke added “I urge all Fleet Managers to ensure that they take their corporate responsibility seriously and direct all members of their staff driving for business to ensure that they never leave the scene of an accident, however minor, without leaving their details.”

Responding to the results, managing director at ContractHireAndLeasing.com David Timmis noted the disparity in individuals having courtesy towards other road users could be attributed to the likelihood that motorists have suffered damage to their own vehicle in the past.

He commented: “It is easy to scrape or hit another car whilst driving, especially with larger cars having to squeeze into tight car parking spaces, but the regional variances may indicate historical trends in those areas, where bad experiences of vehicle damage mean individuals are less likely to report an accident if they in turn damage another vehicle.

“As ever, the older British generation are showing the rest of us the right path by being honest no matter who may, or may not, have seen the accident.”

Tony Carter

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