Are you driving safely now the weather has changed?
According to a new survey, 7m motorists in the UK don’t drive to the conditions
Last week, motorists in some areas of the UK woke up to freezing temperatures, meaning it was time to dig out the ice scraper for that chilly walk around the car clearing windows.
As a result of the coldest weather so far this winter, a number of crashes were reported around the country: the M6 in Cumbria, M20 in Kent, M180 in Lincolnshire and on the M60 in Manchester – and according to reports, they all occurred before 9am.
According to a new survey, a large number of motorists in the UK don’t adapt the way they drive to compensate for challenging winter weather conditions, with one in six motorists failing to change the way they drive.
The survey was carried out by UK-based price comparison website uSwitch, who questioned 2,000 adults about their driving habits during the winter months. Of those surveyed, 16% said they didn’t change their driving style to deal with the wet, icy and slippery road conditions.
There are more than 46 million people in the UK with a full driving licence, so what this result suggests is that over 7 million drivers across the UK fail to adhere to the more dangerous conditions whilst in control of a vehicle.
The Department for Transport (DfT), claims that accidents during the winter months on roads throughout the country are above average for the whole year.
In 2015, a total of 2,170 accidents occurred on major roads during the winter months – a staggering 1,460 (two-thirds) of these accidents were the cause of ice on the roads.
Out of the 2,000 motorists surveyed by uSwitch, 23% admitted that they don’t leave a bigger gap between their car and the one in front, whilst 26% said they don’t lower their speed in the winter.
Wearing extra clothing to keep warm could reduce movement for a driver. Over a quarter (27%) said they’d put on bulkier coats and worn woolly gloves whilst at the wheel, making it harder to drive.
Nearly a third (31%) of those polled by uSwitch admitted that they don’t clean the ice off their car windscreen fully before driving off, whilst over half (52%) confessed to not clearing the passenger side window.
A quarter of the 2,000 adults questioned admitted that they’d even left the car engine running to clear the ice and warm the car up, not realising that if their vehicle was stolen at this moment, their insurance policy would be invalid.
Unbelievably, 12% of those surveyed confessed to using hot water to melt the ice on the windscreen, which could result in a cracked screen and a replacement needed.
A driver’s best friend in the winter should be the ice scraper, however, according to the survey’s findings, many motorists (53%) said they never have one handy to use and normally end up looking for a makeshift scraper to do the job.
A bank card came top of the makeshift list with 37%, followed closely by our hands (33%), a CD was used by 13%, mobile phone (3%) and… wait for it… a shoe!
Yes – 2% of the 2,000 adults polled by uSwitch confessed to using a shoe to remove ice and snow from their car windscreen!
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