Almost one in five motorists admit locking keys in car

Almost a fifth of Irish motorists have locked their keys inside their vehicle at some stage, according to recent research.

In response to a survey of over 5,000 motorists undertaken by breakdown assistance provider AA Rescue, 19.35% of respondents stated that since beginning driving they have locked their keys inside their car on at least one occasion.

Fortunately, in most cases where cars have been locked inside a car the vehicle was empty, with just 2.42% of such incidents involving a pet also being locked in the car and 0.81% involving a child locked in the vehicle.

“Keys being accidentally locked in a vehicle happens far more often than you’d think – in fact, on average, we estimate that our AA Rescue team get called out to such incidents on average 6 times each day,” Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs stated.

“However, when it does happen you may feel somewhat embarrassed and often people feel like they’re the only person to have ever found themselves in this situation.

“These incidents are usually the result of a brief lapse in concentration, something which happens to us all, but the good news is that in the majority of cases retrieving the keys and accessing the vehicle is a relatively straightforward task.”

The survey also found that almost a third of motorists have accidentally left their lights on resulting in a breakdown.

Some 29.03% of those surveyed about their driver history stated that on at least one occasion in the past they had left their lights on and drained the battery. Men were more likely to have committed this faux-pas, with 33.82% admitting to having drained their car’s battery because they failed to turn off their lights, compared to 22.21% of women.

“Both these breakdowns can be a little embarrassing to admit to, given that they are a product of the motorist’s own lapse in concentration, but they’re easily remedied,” Faughnan added.

“More generally, however, as we move into the winter season we would urge people to set some time aside to get their car ready for the change in weather conditions to avoid being stuck at the roadside in the pouring rain.”

“Particularly during winter our AA Rescue team see a significant increase in callouts relating to drained batteries and cars failed to start. As the temperatures dip, older or weaker batteries are more likely to encounter problems first thing in the morning or after the car has been idle for a significant length of time.

“If your battery has been giving you some issues recently we would definitely encourage getting it checked by your mechanic and replaced if necessary.”

- Digital desk

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