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Last Updated: Friday, 7 December 2007, 00:13 GMT
10% of UK drivers 'bump-and-run'
Cars next to a speed camera
Half of drivers who did not stop said damage caused was minor

Almost one in 10 British drivers admits to having crashed into a parked car and driving away, according to a survey.

Some 70% of drivers have had cars damaged in this way, while 20% of those who admitted the offence felt no guilt.

Tony Chilcott, of insurers Direct Line, which commissioned the research, said it is "worth remembering that it is a crime" to hit a car and drive away.

A total of 1,526 UK motorists aged over 18, were questioned by YouGov online between 12 and 15 November.

Mr Chilcott said "bumping another car can happen so easily", pointing out that "it may be tempting to drive off".

This feeling seems to be echoed by the survey's respondents.

To be on the receiving end of a bump-and-run can be upsetting
Tony Chilcott
Direct Line

Of those who did not stop, half said the damage was minor and not worth the effort involved in leaving details.

Some who admitted being offenders were more worried about being seen by other drivers, or being captured on camera, than concerned about the damage they had caused. As many as 14% said they could get away with the offence because nobody was around to witness the accident.

Mr Chilcott emphasised the importance of leaving personal details where hitting a parked car is concerned.

Poor parking

Stressing the inconvenience it can cause, he said: "To be on the receiving end of a bump-and-run can be upsetting, especially if it means you have to claim on your insurance for damage you didn't cause."

A third of those with cars damaged by another driver paid for the repairs themselves and 11% made an insurance claim.

More than half - 51% - of the cars damaged in such accidents had not been repaired.

Poor parking was considered to be the main cause of bump-and-run incidents, which were twice as likely to happen in a supermarket car park than in a residential road.

Damaged paintwork was the most frequent result of such incidents, followed by damaged bumpers and wing mirrors.


Your comments

My car was bumped in January, the driver did not stop. However, I was in it and was able to reach the motorway service area exit in time to get the registration number and sight of the driver. I flagged the car down, but was avoided and given a "finger" in the process. I have taken the matter up with the police and am still suing for full damages. The final bill to the miscreant will doubtless exceed 1000 including legal fees. This for what might have been settled with an apology.
E. Last, Faringdon, UK

A few years ago i was parked in Tesco in Maesglas newport just before Christmas when it was a nightmare to get out of the car park. I returned to my car to find the passenger door completed smashed in as if someone had reversed into it. It was obvious that someone witnessed it but no-one spoke up or came to help me. It's only a car but I was quite distraught that someone could cause that much damage and just drive away.
Clare, Cardiff

Many years ago I was forced to swerve to one side in a narrow street with cars parked tightly on either side when an oncoming vehicle was too far in the middle of the road. My left wing-mirror clipped the mirror on a parked car and smashed it but I didn't stop. Perhaps it's making excuses but it was a rough area of town and there was already nowhere to park since both sides of the road were full. I feel bad, but console myself with the thought that it wouldn't have been too expensive.
Anon, USA ( ex pat )

Twice the front wing of my passenger side has been hit by an unknown vehicle, no details left. Once I paid 450 cash for the repair and the second time it was close to Christmas and I was forced to make a claim. This was very upsetting on both occasions.
Claire , Southampton, UK

Living in a street with mainly no off road parking (and a neighbour known within my family as "she who cannot park") I empathise with those on the receiving end. A minor scrape can cost 100-200 to fix.
John Onslow, southampton, hampshire

People who suffer minor paintwork damage from so called "bump and run" incidents could be advised to i) get themselves a life , ii)leave their precious car in the garage or iii) leave the hand-brake off. I live in Paris where it is considered perfectly normal to edge another car out of the way to make room before parking. After all that's why bumpers are called bumpers.
Stephen Portsmouth, Paris, France

I've been both bumped (causing my bumper to be replaced out of my own pocket) and accused of bumping in the last few months and the second is much worse than the first. Someone had obviously bumped & run before I parked my car and I had such a nasty, rude note put on my screen that I now always check if cars have any damage as soon as I'm parked, so I can refute any accusations.
John, London, UK

It depends how hard the bump is. If nothing gets broken or dented, what's the fuss? Bumpers fitted to cars should live up to their name and protect the rest of the vehicle from damage if the force of bump is below a certain limit. (The DoE could set this.)
Norman Clubb, Thannhausen, Germany

My wife, who is a Baptist minister was leaving her church in my car when she turned too tightly to the right and caught a parked car. She dutifully put a note on it giving her name and address. A few days later she recieved a phone call from the owner, who informed her that after she had got the car home it had been stolen and had just been discovered burnt out! It pays to have friends in high places.
Steven Dyson, London


SEE ALSO
Uninsured drivers face crackdown
14 Nov 07 |  Business
Life in the fast lane
25 Jul 07 |  Magazine

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