Roadside Trouble Sparks Anxiety

Energy bars? Check. Hand sanitizer? Check. Anxiety, anger, helplessness? Check again. When a car breaks down, most drivers experience a range of unpleasant feelings.

You’re on the road just a few hours from your destination when it happens: Your car engine sputters and dies, leaving you stranded on the side of the road in a strange place.

Among drivers who have experienced problems on the road, 62% became anxious, 52% got angry, 47% felt overwhelmed and helpless, and 36% got scared, according to a recent survey from Allstate Roadside Services.

Four in 10 (40%) said their first instinct was to call a tow truck or roadside assistance service for help.

Allstate Roadside Services suggests several steps to take that can help keep motorists safe and prepared. Make sure your car is road-ready before your trip. Have a mechanic give your vehicle the once-over, including such preventive maintenance as an oil change, tire check or replacing of wipers or engine filters.

Keep a well-equipped emergency kit in the trunk with a flashlight, hand sanitizer, water and energy bars. Know who to contact for help. Keep your cell phone charged and your roadside assistance contact information handy.

The survey also revealed:

  • Most (95%) of drivers across the U.S. have experienced a disabled or un-drivable vehicle at least once.
  • Almost three in four (74%) respondents said flat tires were the most common cause of roadside breakdowns.
  • Nearly half (45%) of respondents blamed a mechanical breakdown.
  • Younger drivers (ages 18 to 29) are the most likely group to have experienced an incident within the past year (73%).