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Young drivers relying on Mum and Dad

After passing your test and driving solo for the first time, there are still plenty of things new and young drivers have to learn. While passing the driving test qualifies you to legally drive on the roads, there are various things it may not fully prepare you for; such as what to do if you end up in an accident or how to deal with every single problem your car may have.

At Dayinsure, we decided to see how much new and young drivers really do rely on calling Mum and Dad when they end up in difficult driving situations. It turns out for many their parents would be the first port of call.

Who Calls Their Parents?

From all of the drivers surveyed, 28.2% of them said they would call their parents first if they had an issue with their car, with drivers in Belfast found to be most likely to call their parents. However, the overall results were much higher for young drivers, with 58.3% of 18 to 24-year-olds and 62.9% of 25 to 34-year-olds saying they would do the same. Even those reaching middle age who would struggle to be called young drivers said they would call their parents too, as 47.3% of 35 to 44-year-olds admitted.

Parents didn’t always refer to whichever was available though. Out of the young drivers surveyed, 57.1% said they would specifically ask to speak to their Dad when calling with a car issue. Again, drivers in Belfast (as well as Cardiff and Edinburgh) were most likely to do this.

Aside from calling their parents, the most popular option for drivers in other locations including Nottingham, Sheffield and Norwich is to call a dedicated helpline first. Maybe parents there are just less understanding.

The Top Driving Issues for Relying on Parents

There were many different issues mentioned as to why drivers would call their parents first, before a dedicated helpline, garage, breakdown service or police, for example. The top five most common reasons were:

1. Being in a car accident (23.6%)
2. Running out of petrol (18.5%)
3. A dashboard light turning on (18.1%)
4. Unable to start the car (15.6%)
5. Having a flat tyre (15.5%)

Ringing your parents after being in a car accident was most likely in Belfast and Leeds and running out of petrol in the Northern Irish capital and Bristol. Overall, half of all 18 to 24-year-olds would call their parents if they ran out of petrol too.

A dashboard light turning on was most common in London and Birmingham, car not starting in Belfast and Edinburgh while having a flat tyre and calling your parents was most likely in both of those cities and London.

Why Have Young Drivers Called Their Parents?

Along with the mentioned issues such as being in an accident, various funny stories cropped up in our research for why young drivers rang their parents. These ranged from one young woman accidentally hitting a flying pigeon and panicking, calling her Mum to calm down, to another new driver sliding down an icy hill and into a post box, unsure what to do. Then there was the odd story of one driver forgetting where they were going and ringing their Mum to remember!

These findings demonstrate that new, young drivers especially do rely heavily on Mum and Dad when it comes to car issues. This could bring into question whether new drivers’ knowledge is at a good enough level once they’ve passed their test and if more should be done during the learning process.