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Sod’s law: breakdowns more likely on a journey away than coming home

breakdowns RAC

A poll by the RAC of 2,200 drivers found 64 percent of those who had breakdowns that could not be fixed at the side of the road, had it happen to them on their way out rather than on the way home. In other words, if you’ve got something to be late for, you’re more likely to break down.

Far be it from us or indeed the RAC to comment on the laws of luck in the universe, but by the look of those figures, the odds are stacked against us.

Overall, as many as 46 percent of drivers have had a breakdown that cannot be fixed at the side of the road. Almost one in five of us are unlucky enough to experience that more than once.

Going somewhere?

So how did we manage? Ninety percent of those surveyed said they relied on recovery services to pick their vehicle up. And 77 percent of those were taken wherever they were going by the recovery, be that home or otherwise.

The best of the rest, the 18 percent, had to sort their own travel plans. Of that group, 28 percent didn’t actually make it to where they were going. Nearly two-thirds did, but were late in the end. Overall, very nearly half of those surveyed (47 percent) who broke down and had to sort themselves out, then failed to make their way to events like gatherings and parties.

As for where these people were going, one in five were driving to work, while another one in five were going to visit family or friends. Not as many, but still a significant amount, experienced an unfixable breakdown on the way to a UK-based holiday (11 percent).

However, it’s the unlucky two percent that we feel for the most, who broke down on their way to international travels.

“Sod’s law”

“Breaking down is always stressful, but finding your car can’t be fixed at the roadside is particularly bad news,” said RAC Breakdown spokesperson, Simon Williams.

“Our new research shows Sod’s Law also appears to have a hand in this type of breakdown, as they are more likely to happen on your way out from home than they are returning – pretty much a textbook definition of the law which says that things will go wrong exactly when you really want them to go right.”

Breakdown firm predicts 72 punctures per hour over February half term

Breakdown firm predicts 72 punctures per hour over February half-term

Breakdown firm predicts 72 punctures per hour over February half term

Green Flag has predicted 72 punctures will happen every hour on UK roads next week as motorists hit the road for a half-term getaway.

The company says dead batteries, punctures, and even engine failures will be the most common breakdowns over the February break – with 175,000 drivers expected to be left stranded.

Clutch problems and failed starter motors are also likely to cause issues – and nearly 2,000 of us are expected to lock our keys inside the car. A further 1,405 will refuel using the wrong fuel.

Green Flag’s head of rescue, Neil Wilson, said: “During the February half term, the roads will be extremely busy with families across the country making the most of the extra time off so it’s no wonder that a high number of breakdowns are predicted to take place. However, the majority of these breakdowns are avoidable if people take the time to check their cars and ensure everything is in working order.

“We want to ensure that people get to enjoy their much-needed break and encourage them before setting out on the road, check that your tyres are the correct pressure and legal tread depth and check your water and oil level. It would be good to ensure that you have a spare tyre just in case. If your vehicle has not been serviced in while and you are contemplating a long journey, have your local garage check your brakes and test your battery.”

The warnings follow news that many drivers are driving with illegal tyres because they can’t afford to change them or simply can’t find the time.

Green Flag has recently launched an ‘Alert Me’ system which uses a device plugged into your car’s diagnostics port. This detects possible issues and alerts the breakdown company, who then forward the warning onto the owner via SMS or the official app.