Smash and Dash: A Worrying Driving Phenomenon, and How to Prevent It

By Lewis on 13th January 2020 - View Comments

We like to think it’ll never happen to us. Unfortunately, even with all the driving skill in the world, your car might end up hitting another in an innocent space like a car park.

The polite thing to do after this happens is to suck it up and apologise to the other driver. However, a study of 2,000 drivers by Euro Car Parts shows that almost a third would drive off without doing this.

32% of participants admitted preferring to “smash and dash”. What’s more, research suggests there’s a gender split in this too: 36% of male drivers said they’d drive off, compared to 28% of women.

The survey also highlighted geographical hotspots of the trend. Perhaps unsurprisingly, London comes out on top, and it relates to other cities in the top 5 as follows:

1. London – 43%

2. Oxford – 40%

3. Liverpool – 33%

4. Glasgow – 33%

5. Norwich – 32%

Taking into account that the majority of everyday “smash and dash” instances are committed when trying to park, Euro Car Parts’ survey also gauged the parking pet peeves of drivers. Half of those asked said that tight parking bays were their top annoyance, closely followed by parking over two spaces; the trend known as Clarkson Parking is something we’ve covered before [link to article here if poss], and it annoyed 47% of motorists.

Chris Barella, Euro Car Parts’ Vice President of Sales, said that their research underlines how challenging urban parking has become, “especially in cramped and busy urban environments like large cities.”

However, though a lot of these variables are outside of our control – after all, we can’t stop others from parking badly – there are ways for us to make sure that our cars can handle parking in a difficult spot.

Many of them involve newer technologies that would have been unthinkable in cars even 10 years ago. “By fitting cars with parking aids like sensors and reversing cameras, drivers can ensure that they’re fully prepared for the stresses of urban parking.”

Parking is often a necessity, rather than a joy. Like any part of driving, accidents can happen – but by being aware of what you can do, and not panicking in the moment, we  can all leave with fewer dents in our motors and our pride.

What do you think of the survey’s results? Have you experienced a parking nightmare in a city, or elsewhere? What annoys you most about it? Let us know in the comments below!

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