Drivers are not likely to help someone in trouble

November 19, 2007

Has chivalry really ceased to exist or is it just a case of people not feeling equipped to do the job? In a recent survey by leading low-cost car insurance provider, Budget Direct, motorists across Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne were asked if they would stop to help someone with car trouble, to which a mere 11 per cent of motorists said they always would.

But the news isn't all bad, a closer look at the results reveals it's not a case of not wanting to help, with 34 per cent of motorists admitting they simply wouldn’t be able to help, while another 34 per cent said they wouldn't stop at night.

Communications Officer for Budget Direct, Richelle Ward said despite the results Budget Direct would like to think people would still offer help to those who truly needed it.

"The figures indicate people would help if they could, but obstacles like advanced vehicle technology and safety factors are real determinants for most motorists," Ms Ward said.

Overall, the survey reveals Brisbane drivers are the most confident, with 35 per cent saying they could fix most minor repairs on their on own vehicle, compared to 32 per cent in Sydney and 26 per cent from Melbourne. In contrast, 11 per cent of Sydney drivers admit that putting petrol in the car is the extent of their mechanical knowledge compared to 10 per cent of motorists from Brisbane and only 9 per cent from Melbourne.

"Motorists tend to rely heavily on having a mobile phone to either call for roadside assistance or a family member in the event of a breakdown," Ms Ward said.

"While this is definitely an advantage, a motorist should still be able to complete simple tasks like changing a flat tyre in case of an emergency."

When respondents were asked about the habits of keeping their car serviced, 60 per cent of motorists surveyed stated they followed manufacturers recommendations and had their vehicle serviced regularly. On the contrary, six per cent of respondents in both Brisbane and Melbourne admitted they only had their vehicle serviced when it started to make a noise or blow smoke compared to five per cent from Sydney.

Budget Direct warns of the safety issues related to not having a regular service and said car services are a worthwhile investment.

Small things like incorrect tyre pressure can not only lead to higher petrol consumption, but can also make a difference when trying to avoid a road accident.

For further information or interviews please contact Jonathan Kerr, Director, Marketing & Digital, Budget Direct (Auto & General) at 07 3377 8801 or

Budget Direct was established as an insurance provider in Australia in 2000.  It is part of the international BHL Group of companies headquartered in the British Isles. The group provides more than 6.8 million policies to insurance customers and administers $2 billion in premiums annually. Budget Direct offers Motor, Home & Contents, Health, Life and Travel Insurance as well as Roadside Assistance.