Survey Shows Reliance on Roadside Assistance

Modern motorists are increasingly hesitant to perform basic car maintenance tasks such as changing a flat tire, with a significant number preferring to call for roadside assistance, a comprehensive study reveals. This trend highlights a growing gap in practical automotive skills among drivers, with many citing fear and a lack of knowledge as major deterrents. The research, commissioned by National Geographic to promote the twelfth season of Car S.O.S, surveyed 2,000 drivers, uncovering that only one in four would attempt to change a flat tire themselves.

Changing Tires: A Lost Skill?

The study found 43% of respondents admitted to having no idea how to change a tire, and an equal percentage lacked confidence in their ability to perform this once common roadside fix. Over half of the participants would rather wait for professional help than attempt to jack up their vehicle. The lack of physical strength and knowledge about the correct steps to take when changing a tire were cited by 54% of respondents as primary reasons for their hesitance. Furthermore, 46% usually rely on others for such car troubles, indicating a reliance on external assistance over self-sufficiency.

Knowledge Gap and Desire for Learning

Despite the apparent decline in DIY tire changes, the survey suggests a curiosity among drivers to learn more about basic car maintenance, with 56% expressing a desire to enhance their automotive knowledge. However, this interest does not always translate into action, as many do not prioritize learning these essential skills. This knowledge gap extends beyond tire changes, with only 41% knowing how to check their brake fluid levels, and a mere 56% understanding how to inspect their indicator bulbs. Additionally, 11% of drivers are unsure of their car's MOT due date, emphasizing the need for better education on vehicle upkeep.

Celebrity Assistance: A Fantasy Fix

In a lighter vein, the survey also asked drivers which celebrity they would prefer to have by their side during a breakdown, with choices ranging from professional racers like Lewis Hamilton to action stars such as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. The results reflect a fantasy of having expertise and strength at hand in challenging situations, blending the worlds of automotive skill and celebrity allure. Yet, behind this whimsy lies a serious note: the importance of regular vehicle maintenance and the value of being equipped with basic automotive repair knowledge.

As vehicles become more reliable and safety measures more stringent, the frequency of tire failures has decreased, leading to a generation of drivers less familiar with roadside troubleshooting. This shift underscores the need for educational initiatives to bridge the knowledge gap and empower motorists with the skills to handle common vehicle issues confidently. While the dream of having a celebrity change a tire remains fanciful, the reality is that a basic understanding of car maintenance is an invaluable tool for every driver's safety and peace of mind.


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