So we are not knee deep in snow just yet! However, the signs of a bitterly cold winter have been with many parts of the country for some time now. With frosty mornings and gale force winds hitting much of the UK, can drivers really afford to ignore the warning signs of bad winter weather?
It comes as no surprise that millions of drivers up and down the country are putting themselves and their passengers at risk by not preparing their cars for winter weather. It had been found that almost four drivers in ten wouldn’t drive any slower regardless of the adverse weather conditions. A total of 35% have refused to leave any more braking room in front of their cars- an unsafe practice according to any of the fully qualified driving instructors at Want Driving Lessons.
Then there were other worrying statistics too, fewer than 45% of drivers asked in the Kwik Fit survey said that they would forget or put off regularly cleaning their headlights. This is despite the fact that there are plenty of current weather warns in place. It seems our history of heavy snowfall has been forgotten by many drivers. Think back to January 2014′s heavy snowfall, it left hundreds of drivers stuck on the M6. Unfortunately there is every danger of this happening again.
Other interesting findings included that only a third of people prepared with any sort of emergency kit in their cars. Fewer than 1 in 5 people choose to have their battery and brakes checked before the icy weather comes. Many drivers put their faith in luck to get them through to February and March. Winter is known as a time when these most essential parts of a car are more likely to give in to the elements! It’s so important to take some time out and have your car winter proofed before it’s too late.
Many people don’t actually know that winter tyres exist! Just 5% of people make the change to cold weather tyres when the roads start to get icy. This was found to be the case even in the longer spells of snow and ice. Changing to winter tyres is in fact a great idea, it’s been found that there is on average an 11 metre shorter stopping distance on a 20 mph icy road when these tyres have been fitted. This would be compared just 12 metres needed on a dry road in the summer- so it’s pretty clear how much stopping distance a car would need in the snow and ice!
Naturally the chances of being involved in a road traffic accident during the winter months are significantly higher than in the summer. It seems that from these result, many drivers are just not taking the simple and common sense measures that could save lives.
Tyres, brakes and a check of the cars internal system is recommended to help prepare cars for winter journeys. Also we recommend using caution when driving, perhaps slowing down a little to allow more time to react. Looking for more great driving tips? Get in touch with us at Want Driving Lessons for a refresher driving course!