• Nine out of ten over 50s keep something in their car for an emergency
• Men pack for safety, while women pack for comfort
• People in the North West are the least likely to prepare for a motor emergency
The bad weather might be coming but motorists over 50 needn't fear it, as research by Saga Breakdown Assistance* suggests that 80% of over 50s have learnt a valuable lesson after breaking down, as nine in ten now say they pack their car with all sorts of things to help them cope with an emergency.
More than half of over 50s keep a first aid kit tucked away somewhere in their car, 55% won't worry if they break down at night as they will have a torch to hand and 40% keep a blanket in the boot.
However, despite the rise of the Sat Nav, 67% of over 50s keep a map either in their glove box or under the passenger's seat.
The sex of a driver plays a part in preparation, as men appear more safety conscious by packing high vis vests, warning triangles and torches, while women are more concerned with being comfortable and therefore pack food, water and a blanket in case of an emergency.
People in the North West are the least likely to keep things in the car to help them in an emergency. However, people in the South East and East Anglia aren't willing to risk breaking down without a car full of things to see them through a motoring emergency.
Roger Ramsden, chief executive, Saga services, commented: "No one sets out on a road trip expecting the worst – but as every good Scout or Guide will know – being prepared is the best motto to follow. Making sure you have up-to-date breakdown cover and a few basic essentials in the car could help make the best out of a bad situation."
1. If possible, keep sidelights on and turn on your hazard warning lights.
2. On the motorway, or on other busy roads where your vehicle might be in danger of being hit – get out of the vehicle and wait somewhere safe.
3. Put a high vis jacket or reflective clothes on if you have them in the car.
4. If it is safe, place a warning triangle 50 yards behind your vehicle.
5. Call for help.
6. Keep an emergency pack in the car, with things like water, food, a blanket and a torch in it. It's also a good idea to keep a high vis vest and a warning triangle in your car so you can be seen clearly if you do break down.
7. Keep a spare headlight bulb in the glove box, as it is illegal to drive with a blown headlight.
*Populus interviewed 10,505 Saga customers, all aged 50 and over, online between 18th and 24th October 2013. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
**Based on Saga Breakdown Assistance claims data between November 2012 – February 2013