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Select Car Leasing

Running over animals tops UK women

Continuing our ongoing independent research into the habits of Britain's motorists, Select Car Leasing has uncovered further fascinating insights around vehicle behaviour across the country. When UK drivers were quizzed about their biggest driving fears, our recent independent study of over 1,200 motorists has revealed some quite shocking results across both men and women.

In a stunning revelation, female drivers in particular admitted that running over an animal topped their hit-list when it came to fears on the road, ahead of a collision with a human being.

And while only 19 per cent of women claimed to be worried about hitting a pedestrian, almost a quarter said they were terrified of hitting an unlucky animal, such as a cat, deer or rabbit. The female driver was also more concerned about breaking down, getting lost or encountering fast drivers on motorways than knocking someone over. 

However, female fears on the road may not be misplaced. Data from the RSPCA shows that, each year, over 1 million mammals are injured by a car and it may be the frequency of these collisions that mean drivers view them as a much more realistic fear.

In contrast, men feared clobbering a walker, runner or hiker more than an animal, at 15 per cent and 14 per cent respectively. James O’Malley director of Select Car Leasing, said the study highlighted important differences – but also many similarities – between the sexes.

He added: “Men and women are no different in terms of ability when they get behind the wheel, but our research throws up a number of differences once they start up the engine.

“No driver wants to be involved in an accident with a pedestrian, but it may come as a shock that the average woman is even more worried about hitting a cute little rabbit or dog. Though our data revealed differences, what is striking is the fears both men and women have in common — fears that need to be addressed.

Previous data from our survey revealed tailgating to be a huge bugbear amongst UK motorists, with many believing the behaviour has become increasingly prevalent on roads in recent years. Almost a third (32%) of all motorists, regardless of gender, put tailgating at the top of their list of fears.

“If you’re driving along at the speed limit, and someone is an inch behind your rear bumper and acting in an aggressive manner, it can be extremely intimidating. If tailgating is a persistent source of terror, drivers will be nervous about it happening before they even put the key in the ignition.It is simply not acceptable. Full stop. And if you’re guilty of doing it, you need to understand just how much emotional harm and distress you could be causing.

“The survey shows that most drivers already have enough on their plate when they get behind the wheel—whether it be hitting an animal or breaking down. What they don’t need is the inconsiderate actions of other motorists adding to that stress.”


Having consideration for other motorists shouldn’t be something that needs to brought to public attention, but our survey shows that everyone reacts differently to situations behind the wheel and its important to remember that”

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