A new survey has lifted the lid on the latest dreadful excuses for accidents given by Britain’s drivers.
The survey covered nearly 37,000 drivers who use company vehicles and asked their bosses two key questions:
1. What is the worst excuse you have ever had for an accident from a driver?
2. What is the oddest thing someone has left in a company car when it has been returned to the company?
Among the worst excuses for accidents was one driver who said: “There were too many mini roundabouts in the road and I drove into the back of the car on the one that shouldn’t have been there.” [For the benefit of our many American readers, at Drive and Stay Alive, a mini roundabout is a tiny ‘rotary’ or ‘traffic circle’ — a painted, white disc maybe 10-12 feet in diameter, on the road surface, which is used at small, confined intersections but is treated just the same as a regular, larger rotary.]
Another driver blamed his crash on a ‘bloody woman’. It later transpired she was in her upstairs bedroom window, getting undressed, and the driver had been more preoccupied watching her than the gate pillar on his house, which promptly ripped one side off his Aston Martin DB7. [DSA Editor: I can’t resist making a comment about nice bodywork!]
Other excuses included:
1. The driver said he was impressed with the reversing siren. So much so that he backed into a wall whilst listening to it
2. I was going the wrong way down a one-way street when I hit a car which was not there when going the other way
3. I didn’t know my foot was still on the accelerator
4. The other car shouldn’t have been in my way
5. I swerved to hit a tree that wasn’t there
6. The horse came out of nowhere and landed on my car.
7. I didn’t see the lamp-post
8. I had to take too many mobile phone calls
9. The car in front had better brakes so I was unable to compete with the stopping distance and ended up hitting it
10. I don’t know why he put his foot in the way while he was seeing me through the gap
11. I forgot I was in a car park
12. I did not think the train ran on those lines any more
13. I sneezed
14. The car didn’t come with an instruction manual
15. How could I have known there were metal railings behind the hedge (having reversed through someone’s shrubbery).
16. I was picking my mobile phone up from the floor of the car
Forgetful drivers are also leaving the oddest things in company-owned cars when they return them to their fleet managers. The most remarkable items included:
1. A dead goat
2. A chainsaw
3. Shop dummy (mannequin)
4. Used nappies (daipers)
5. False teeth
6. Stockings and suspenders (stockings and garter belt)
7. Bulk supply of feminine hygiene products
8. A G-string
11. Unopened bag of fish & chips (fish and fries) under the passenger seat of a van (probably about a week old).
12. A boot full of grass cuttings
13. A bale of hay
14. Tampon in the sun visor
15. Box of 12-bore shotgun cartridges
The survey was carried out by Fleet News, the leading newspaper for the company car and van industry in Britain, which revealed these results in April, 2004.