Brits Avoid More Parking Accidents Than Continental Drivers
A new report from YouGov has looked at the common issue of damage being caused to cars during the process of parking. And perhaps unsurprisingly, it was people from the UK who came out on top in terms of cautiousness, indicating that British drivers are more careful than those elsewhere.
A third of respondents to the study said that they had experienced some form of damage occurring to their vehicles, with roughly half of this group stating that they had dented, scratched or otherwise compromised the physical integrity of a car they own while attempting to park it.
The average number of people admitting to having damaged their own car while parking it was lower in the UK than anywhere else, with just a tenth of Brits stating that they had encountered this kind of incident in the past.
At the other end of the spectrum were Italian respondents, with just over a fifth of drivers from this EU member state confirming that they had had a parking accident at some point.
Spain seems to be another hotspot for parking damage, coming a close second to Italy in the study, which was commissioned by auto manufacturer Nissan.
Meanwhile, the cautious behaviour of drivers in the UK was echoed by both German and French respondents, where just under one in 10 people confirmed that they had bumped or bashed their car while parking it.
The study also looked into the intricacies of parking and asked respondents to identify the manoeuvres which they find the toughest to execute. Reversing into a parking bay or roadside gap was cited as being the most common cause of accidents, which is clearly a result of reduced visibility and the difference in the way that the vehicle must be controlled to achieve this safely.
27 per cent of parking accidents occur when people are driving estate cars, which are the larger of the family-oriented models available. And because estate cars are smaller than people carriers and SUVs, people are willing to try to squeeze them into spaces which are perhaps not quite big enough to accommodate them without some jostling occurring.
The trend for careful parking in the UK is exemplified by recent campaigns to encourage the widening of parking spaces. This is based on the idea that modern vehicles are wider than the cars which were in general usage when many facilities were introduced.
Of course, there are variations in parking-space sizes from facility to facility, with some places giving drivers more room to manoeuvre than others. And there are other factors involved in determining parking-space width aside from car size. Chief amongst them is the amount of revenue that a car-park owner can generate from the space that is available to them.
Modern cars come with features designed to make parking a lot easier, with sensors at the front and rear ensuring that solid objects can be detected and avoided rather than coming out of nowhere and resulting in an accident. Some vehicles even feature reversing cameras to allow them to fit into tight gaps and avoid obstacles which might otherwise be missed.
As the automation of cars becomes more prevalent, more and more manufacturers are acting to take the process of parking out of the hands of drivers altogether. Cars which can automatically park in bays or roadside spaces are already available, even if many drivers in the UK and elsewhere might be reluctant to relinquish control and let the vehicle do all of the work for them.
Cultural differences in driving habits, as well as the variations in the training schemes and regulations which are present in different European nations, inevitably result in different responses to a survey such as this. But cautious drivers can look forward to fewer instances of damage occurring and fewer costly repairs being required for their vehicles in the future.