Would You Stop For Someone With Car Trouble?


Road hazard sign with man on phone beside a broken down car
Photo Copyright: xiao yu/ Shutterstock
Sarah Archer is a marketing manager with expertise in leading content strategy, SEO and PR across diverse industries ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies and recently conducted this survey and shared the results with me.

56% of Americans Would Stop to Help Someone With Car Troubles

You might be surprised to find that the amount of people who want to help you when your car breaks down is a lot bigger than you think. Every year in the United States there are 69 million vehicles that break down. This means that every one of three drivers will have their cars break down just this year. Knowing just how many people are victim to car breakdowns, would you drive past someone on the side of the road or stop to help?

Many people believe that there is no way anyone would want to help them with their side of the road car problems. For this reason, The Simple Dollar conducted a survey to find out how willing Americans are to help their fellow drivers when their car breaks down.

Americans Want to Help Each Other

As it turns out, only 3% of people would try to flag someone down on the road to help them with their car troubles. However, Americanís common belief that no one wants to help is not true, in fact the study found that 56% of Americans would stop to help a fellow citizen on the side of the road, but it depends on who they are stopping to help

Who Would Stop for to Help

For various reasons there will always be people who cannot stop to help. Some of the most resounding differences in who would stop were between men and women. When it comes down to it, Men are more likely to stop and help someone with their car than women. 46% of men said that they would stop to help anyone on the side of the road, while only 27% of women would be willing to help anyone. However, more women are willing to stop if it is a family member or a woman who needs assistance.

Other factors like weather conditions seemed to play a role for determining who wants to stop to help. For example, the study showed that the 52% of people who live in the Northeast of the United States, where there is typically a lot of rain, were not willing to help someone with their car breakdown. In the western region of the country where there is usually less weather, only 39% of people said they would not stop to help someone with a breakdown. This goes to show that some conditions and circumstances create the unwillingness people have for stopping to help.

When do Americans Call Roadside Assistance?

Rather than flagging down a stranger on the road, or calling a family member to save the day, some Americans would rather call for professional help. The most popular reason that Americans said they would call roadside assistance for was being locked out of their car, which 34% of people surveyed saying they would call. Most people do not know the skills required to get into a locked car, so it makes sense why they would call for this.

Other reasons people said they would call roadside assistance for are a flat tire, dead car battery, running out of fuel, or seeing an engine light turn on. These on the other hand are problems that many people typically know how to fix because they are common issues. So, if you find yourself with one of these problems, try asking someone nearby if they can help with your breakdown.
Now you have a general understanding about who is willing to help someone with their car breakdowns, who will seek out help, and what they need help with. Next time you see someone on the side of the road, save them from their troubles and lend a hand.

For more information on the survey click here.
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