Women drivers fear darker months, study shows

Article date: 27 October 2000

WOMEN motorists are in danger of becoming captives in their owncars as the evenings get longer, a new study warns today.

As the clocks go back, Norwich Union’s Parking Perilsstudy shows that four in five women fear MOST for their personalsafety in car parks during the winter months.

And at any time of the year eight in ten women prefer to park inan open air car park or on the street, according to the independentresearch commissioned by the insurer.

Norwich Union’s Parking Perils study suggests that:

  • A third of all men fear the winter months more than any timeof the year when parking in a car park
  • One in ten women motorists know someone who has been attackedin a car park
  • Two in three women always take security measures (such aschecking the back seat before they get in their car) when parkingin a car park - compared to two in five men
  • Lack of lighting in multi-storey car parks is the greatestconcern for female motorists and a lack of security presence isthe greatest concern for men
  • When driving alone at night, five times more motorists feelsafer parking on the street than in a multi-storey car park.

Norwich Union has joined forces with the leading authority forpersonal safety, The Suzy Lamplugh Trust, to educate drivers aboutthe importance of personal safety when parking in the wintermonths.

The insurer has produced a Safe Car Parking guide that givesmotorists helpful tips about what to look for when selecting a safecar park and parking spot, as well as safety techniques to use whenleaving and returning to your car.

Diana Lamplugh, founder of The Suzy Lamplugh Trust said: "Peopleare out and about in their cars a lot more in winter, not onlybecause of the darker, colder nights, but with Christmas fever -shopping, and meeting friends and family. With this in mind thereare even more reasons to be cautious when parking.

"Car parking is a major area of concern for The Trust and wehave been championing the issue of safety in car parks for manyyears now."

James Duffell of Norwich Union said: "Our research showsmotorists - both male and female - fear for their personal safetyin the winter months, and with the clock’s going back onSunday, we are warning all motorists to take particular care.

"Parking is an essential element of owning a car, and our guideoffers all motorists useful advice to protect themselves and reducethe likelihood of them becoming a victim of personal attack or carcrime."

For a free copy of Norwich Union’s Safe Car Parking guidering Freefone 0800 0280 939.

Notes to Editors

Norwich Union commissioned The Survey Shop to interview morethan 500 motorists in Britain in March 2000.

CGU and Norwich Union merged on 30 May 2000 to create CGNU plc -the world’s 6th largest insurer, the UK's largest insurancegroup and one of the top-five life insurers in Europe withsubstantial positions in other markets around the world.

CGNU's principal business activities are long-term savings,general insurance and asset management with worldwide premiumincome and retail investment sales of £26 billion and assets undermanagement of more than £200 billion.

The combined life and pensions, general insurance and retailfund businesses in the UK operate under the Norwich Union brand,while the institutional business operates under the Morley FundManagement brand.

For more information contact Matthew Buchanan/Anja Kueppers,at QBO, on 020 7379 0304, or Liz Nicholson, Norwich Union PressOffice, on 01603 688 263.

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