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8.9m Brits admit to ‘bump and drive’

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Written by:
08/10/2012
Millions of Brits have admitted to hitting parked cars and then driving off without owning up to the damage, according to new research by esure.

Over a quarter of British drivers revealed that they would flee from the scene of an incident if they knew they were not being watched. 

Over a fifth admitted that they have only owned up to scraping another car because someone else saw them do it.

14% of those admitted that they fled because they did not want to deal with the hassle of exchanging details and 13% took flight due to a sense of panic.

Mike Pickard, head of risk and underwriting at esure car insurance, said: “Motorists should remind themselves to take a moment and put themselves in the other person’s shoes when they have bumped into their vehicle.

“Consider the hassle, time and money that you are costing them and do the right thing by alerting them and leaving a note behind with your full contact details.”

Almost a third of motorists revealed that they would drive away if they had caused only minor scratches and scrapes to the paintwork or bumper of another car.

However, 71% said they would feel too guilty to take flight if they had caused more serious dents or structural damage to a parked vehicle.

Despite this, 6.2 million motorists have knocked-off someone’s wing mirror and sped off from the incident.

Donna Dawson, behavioural psychologist, said: “Many of us will have inadvertently damaged a parked car in our driving lifetime, and our first instinct – especially if we haven’t been caught – is to ‘flee’.

“This is basic human nature at play, and is an example of the ‘survival of the fittest’, as we think of ourselves first and the victim second, if at all. 

“For some of us, getting away with something in a society where we feel constantly watched and put-upon bestows a temporary feeling of power; for others, wanting to cover for a friend or family member – it is protective urges that motivate us.”

Men came out as the gender that was the most accident prone with 49% confessing to having bumped or scraped someone else’s car, compared to 36% of women.

The region with the highest percentage of dishonest motorists was London with 69% admitting to a ‘bump and drive’ incident. Wales is the most trustworthy region with just 24% driving away after scraping another car.

Top five types of accidental motoring damage:

1) Hitting a nearby vehicle when opening the car door (63 per cent)
2) Clipping the wing mirror of a parked car whilst driving past (42 per cent)
3) Scraping another car whilst trying to park (35 per cent)
4) Knocking the bumper of another car (33 per cent)
5) Bashing into another car whilst reversing (32 per cent)

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