Life, it seems, is full of embarrassing moments, especially when it comes to driving.
You’re celebrating the big win at the championship game only to realize you have no idea where you parked your SUV at the stadium. It’s pouring rain and your keys are locked in the car. Or maybe you drove to work, all the more bleary-eyed because you left your coffee mug on the roof of your sedan.
“It’s those moments when you hope nobody is watching,” said Des Toups, managing editor of Insurance.com. “You’re walking around, clicking your key fob repeatedly for some sign of your car, or you just took five tries to get into a parking space.”
More than 90% of the motorists surveyed by Insurance.com admitted making at least one embarrassing gaffe. In fact, given a list of possible goofs, men pointed to an average 3.5, women to 4.2. And nearly 5% of the drivers polled for the study admitted to 10 or more.
The most common mistake? Forgetting where they parked, something 52% admitted has happened at least one – 44% of men and 59% of women.
The next most common gaffe was driving over a parking lot curb, something 43% of the drivers copped to – 35% of men and 51% of women. Close behind, 37% of the drivers acknowledged locking their keys in the car at one time or another, 34% of the men and 41% of the women.
The poll offered a broad list of common driving goofs, and the rest of the Top 10 include:
4. Going the wrong way down a one-way street: 34% overall, 30% of men and 38% of women;
5. Driving away with something on the roof of the car, whether a purse or a cup of coffee: 31% overall, men 28%, women 34%;
6. Trying to open a car door before realizing it wasn’t your car: 29% overall, 24% men, 34% women;
7. Couldn’t back out of a parking spot because of another car or obstacle in the way: 27% overall, 21% men, 33% women;
8. Dropped money or food at a drive-through window: 26% overall, 23% men, 28% women;
9. Accidentally triggered the car alarm and couldn’t shut it of:; 22% overall, 18% men, 26% women;
10. Lost toll ticket at the payment booth: 18% overall; 18% men, 17% women.
There were plenty of other embarrassing moments motorists revealed, such as not knowing how to exit a traffic circle, driving away from a gas pump with the nozzle still in the tank, and forgetting a passenger after a stop and having to drive back to get them. The list of 17 common gaffes was rounded out by 8% of the 2,000 motorists surveyed admitting they’ve gotten into the wrong car.
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Which mistake do motorists consider the most embarrassing? For those under 25, it was heading the wrong way on a one-way street. For those 55-64, it was locking the keys in the car. For seniors, it was driving off from a pump with the nozzle still in the tank.
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The gaffe motorists feared most was “almost hitting a person,” something 9% say they have done.
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In fact, 40% of the drivers who admitted to an embarrassing flub say it resulted in some form of vehicle damage. The rest, well, just a little injury to the ego.