Allstate: Drivers May Be Neglecting Hazards of the Road

Eight out of 10 American motorists consider it unlikely that a vehicle crash or breakdown will leave them stranded by the roadside, even though a majority of them have suffered that fate before, according to a new Allstate Insurance survey.

Results of the nationwide phone poll, released Thursday, show that 84 percent of drivers are confident their car won’t become disabled, despite high percentages having gone through such an experience because of an accident, mechanical failure or other reason. With a reported 45 percent of drivers saying they are planning a road trip or two or more hours over the holiday season, that confidence could be put to the test.

Two-thirds of respondents said they have been in a vehicle crash that at least temporarily disabled their vehicle, while 79 percent had gotten a flat tire and 77 percent had suffered because of a dead car battery.

Still, 84 percent of those polled said they did not expect such an occurrence, with the numbers dipping only slightly to 82 percent among those who have undergone four or more of those scenarios.

The survey of 1,000 adult drivers was carried out last month by landline and cell phone and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent, according to Allstate.

The results are just the latest to reveal conflicting attitudes regarding accidents and other driving-related issues.

An Allstate survey conducted earlier this year found that nearly two-thirds of all drivers considered themselves at least “very good” behind the wheel. That was despite the fact that nine out of 10 confessed to speeding, nearly half had driven so tired they were practically falling asleep and 70 percent confessed to missing a traffic signal, swerving to avoid an accident or causing a crash because of distracted driving.

About the only thing respondents to that poll, which was released in August, agreed on was their distrust of teen motorists and other high risk auto insurance groups.

More than 80 percent described teens as “average” or “poor,” behind the wheel, despite admitting to many of the same unsafe driving behaviors themselves. And 70 percent thought poorly of senior citizen drivers.

The more recent survey found that motorists who say they keep up with routine maintenance on their vehicles tend to find themselves waiting for tow trucks less frequently than those who are a little more lax.

The 63 percent of respondents who said they meet all maintenance and servicing requirements reported an average of 3.7 instances in which their car became inoperable, compared to 5.7 of those occurrences among drivers who said they were less studious about vehicular upkeep.

Nearly a quarter of drivers said they have put off or skipped routine maintenance because of the economic downturn.

To read the experiences of current and former Allstate policyholders, readers can find user-submitted Allstate auto insurance reviews online.

About Matthew Morisset
Matthew Morisset is a proud alumnus of the University of Redlands, where he obtained a degree in English Literature. Utilizing his passion for analysis and writing, Matthew looks for important trends in the auto insurance industry and their implications for consumers and the market as a whole.

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