Carefree - and sometimes careless - motorists have been keeping roadside assistance workers busy this summer, as dozens of holidaymakers have found themselves stranded at popular Waikato holiday locations.
Callouts to motorists stuck at beach locations have soared over the summer holiday period, according to the Automobile Association (AA), and several Waikato locations are proving hotspots.
Roadside assistance workers were called to Thames 38 times between December 21, 2013, and January 6 this year.
There were 35 callouts to Whitianga and 34 to Raglan and Tairua. Motorists at Pauanui, Hahei and Coromandel also kept the AA busy.
Central Auckland beach, Mission Bay, had the highest number of rescue calls at 56.
AA Roadservice's national manager John Healy said nearly 60 per cent of callouts to beach locations over the last two weeks have been for flat batteries, difficulties with starting or keys locked in cars.
"Our service officers and contractors have accessed a number of locked vehicles to retrieve car keys that have inadvertently been left in the boot after people have dropped the keys inside while they're unloading bags, or getting beach gear and picnic baskets out.
Mr Healy said he believed that people were making the mistakes as they were relaxed and in holiday mode.
Top 20 coastal locations for AA callouts (21 Dec 2013 – 6 Jan 2014)*
• Mission Bay (56)
• Paraparaumu Beach (43)
• Bucklands Beach (42)
• Whakatane (42)
• Thames (38)
• Red Beach (38)
• Whitianga (35)
• Tairua (34)
• Raglan (34)
• Papamoa Beach (30)
• Mangawhai Heads (24)
• Snells Beach (22)
• Pauanui (22)
• Hahei (21)
• Paihia (21)
• Piha (20)
• Waikanae Beach (20)
• Coromandel (19)
• Lake Tekapo (18)
• Russell (17)
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