Donegal drivers most likely to pull in and help stranded motorists

Opening up the debate of whether to stop and help or to prioritize personal safety, AA Rescue has today published results of a contentious poll question which asks drivers whether or not they would kick into “good Samaritan mode” or simply keep driving if they came across a stranded motorist.

The poll question which specifically hones in on motorists classified as more vulnerable such as a lone female, a parent travelling with children and an elderly motorist, shows that an older driver is most likely to illicit a sympathetic response.   60% of the 12,300 drivers polled by AA Rescue indicated they would stop to assist an older driver whose vehicle had broken down.  A figure which increased to 71% among the poll’s male participants.

A high number of respondents overall, 57%, were also willing to help out someone stranded with young children in their car.  Again this figure was notably higher among male drivers at 67%.

55% of the men polled said they would stop and help a lone female motorist who visibly needed assistance while just 4% of women indicated that they would do the same for a lone male driver.  One sentiment which emerged several times during the AA Rescue poll was that some men simply wouldn’t be comfortable attending a lone female without another woman present for fear they may be perceived as a threat.

Other respondents indicated that they’d rather play it safe and leave it up to the professionals or Gardaí as a precautionary measure in case foul play was at hand.  The poll’s comments section also identifies a degree of camaraderie among motorcyclists with a number of participants stating they would always stop to assist a fellow biker.

Chivalry is alive and well in counties Donegal and Kerry, the AA Rescue poll results suggest.  At 61% and 59% respectively, a slightly higher percentage of drivers in the two counties than in the remaining twenty four said they’d come to the aid of a damsel in distress so to speak.  The poll results also reveal that Donegal drivers are in fact most likely to stop and lend a hand across all categories of drivers featured in the AA Rescue poll.  Inversely drivers in Kildare and Meath were identified as least likely to intervene.

“We’ll always endeavor to prioritize vulnerable Members when broken down and we’d remind Members with iPhones that the AA App can be used to communicate your exact location in the event of a breakdown through your phone’s GPS function.” Says Noel Keogh, Head of AA Rescue.

Motorists wishing to share their views with the AA on the topic are invited to post a comment on www.theaa.ie/blog

Staying safe following a breakdown:

  • If you have a reflective jacket, put it on.
  • If you have any fear that your vehicle may be struck by other traffic make all your passengers get out of the car and get well away from the traffic.  If on a motorway make sure everyone stands as far back as possible behind the barrier.
  • Question whether it is safe for you to fix the car or whether you need professional help.
  • Repairs should never be carried out on the motorway hard shoulder.
  • If it is safe and you have one, put a warning triangle or other permitted warning device on the road at least 45 metres (50 yards) behind your broken down vehicle on the same side of the road. Always take great care when doing this.
  • Keep your sidelights on if it is dark or visibility is poor.
  • Do not stand (or let anybody else stand), between your vehicle and oncoming traffic.
  • At night or in poor visibility do not stand where you will prevent other road users seeing your lights.
  • Use your mobile phone, the AA App or any other available phone to contact the AA
  • If you feel at risk from another person, return to your vehicle and lock the doors.  Then call the Gardaí.
  • Wear your seat belt if remaining in your car even though stationary.

End

Notes to the editor;

Fig. 1 (A) Whether or not respondents indicated they would stop for any of the following if they spotted them broken down.  (Based on 12,368 responses)

  Yes No Maybe
A lone female motorist  46.8% 37.9% 15.3%
A lone male motorist 19.9% 40.9% 39.2%
A parent/parents with young children 56.5% 32.0% 11.5%
An elderly motorist 59.7% 29.9% 10.4%
Other 14.7% 46.0% 39.3%

(B) Whether or not MALE respondents indicated they would stop for any of the following if they spotted them broken down.  (Based on 7,210 responses)

  Yes No Maybe
A lone female motorist 54.8% 36.0% 9.2%
A lone male motorist 30.3% 50.6% 19.1%
A parent/parents with young children 67.1% 27.3% 5.5%
An elderly motorist 70.9% 24.4% 4.7%
Other 20.7% 53.2% 26.1%

(C) Whether or not FEMALE respondents indicated they would stop for any of the following if they spotted them broken down.  (Based on 4,920 responses)

  Yes No Maybe
A lone female motorist 34.8% 40.8% 24.3%
A lone male motorist 3.7% 26.3% 69.9%
A parent/parents with young children 40.8% 39.0% 20.2%
An elderly motorist 43.1% 38.2% 18.6%
Other 5.3% 35.5% 59.2%

(D) County by county split of whether or not respondents indicated that YES they would stop for any of the following if they spotted them broken down:

County A lone female motorist A lone male motorist A parent/parents with young children An elderly motorist Other
Carlow ( 118 responses) 48.3% 26.8% 56.0% 60.2% 13.5%
Cavan ( 132 responses) 52.3% 22.7% 63.6% 63.4% 20.0%
Clare (  275 responses) 50.4% 22.0% 67.5% 66.8% 17.6%
Cork ( 1464 responses) 48.3% 21.0% 58.1% 61.4% 14.9%
Donegal ( 188 responses) 61.1% 29.7% 71.5% 70.4% 21.0%
Dublin (4,474 responses) 43.7% 17.9% 52.9% 56.5% 13.2%
Galway (529  responses) 53.5% 22.0% 62.7% 66.1% 19.2%
Kerry ( 203 responses) 59.0% 28.6% 65.7% 67.2% 14.1%
Kildare ( 775 responses) 40.2% 15.3% 49.6% 53.3% 10.1%
Kilkenny ( 186 responses) 44.9% 18.7% 56.0% 55.4% 14.5%
Laois (152 responses) 40.3% 19.9% 51.3% 53.7% 18.3%
Leitrim ( 50 responses) 46.9% 18.8% 58.0% 60.0% 17.6
Limerick ( 420 responses) 50.5% 22.2% 58.4% 63.2% 19.2%
Longford (74 responses) 54.9% 24.3% 61.6% 69.4% 18.9%
Louth (233 responses) 43.9% 19.0% 58.7% 61.0% 12.0%
Mayo ( 223  responses) 55.7% 26.5% 68.0% 68.3% 23.8%
Meath (  535 responses) 43.2% 14.5% 53.4% 56.4% 11.0%
Monaghan (  71 responses) 56.3% 20.9% 68.6% 70.0% 20.0%
Offaly ( 123 responses) 44.3% 22.2% 53.3% 57.4% 12.2%
Roscommon ( 118  responses) 52.5% 27.6% 61.0% 67.5% 16.7%
Sligo ( 162  responses) 48.4% 24.7% 53.5% 59.1% 20.0%
Tipperary (289  responses) 53.9% 24.9% 65.7% 68.1% 19.5%
Waterford (   298 responses) 49.3% 17.1% 58.2% 60.0% 13.6%
Westmeath ( 207 responses) 46.8% 21.2% 56.8% 62.1% 19.0%
Wexford ( 333  responses) 52.9% 23.7% 61.9% 64.4% 16.7%
Wicklow (  525 responses) 45.9% 19.4% 55.4% 58.9% 11.8%

4 comments

  1. Hope I don’t break down in Meath ! Some interesting info there – its good to know who you can rely on. The figure that surprised me most was the percentage of women who said they would NOT stop for a lone female motorist – 40.8% – I expected this to be a lot lower.

  2. Hope I don’t break down in Meath or I could be stranded! Some interesting info there – good to know who you can rely on. The figure that surprised me most was the percentage of women who said they would NOT stop for a lone female motorist – I expected that to be a lot lower.

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