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Drivers unprepared for winter

A quarter of motorists admit they “do nothing” to prepare for winter weather and dangerous driving conditions.

With snow predicted to fall across the UK, research by Asda has revealed that Brits are ‘skating on thin ice’ when it comes to safety.

At one extreme, two in five motorists admit to cutting corners and taking to the roads without being able to fully see through their windscreen!

The survey of 1,000 men and women on their winter driving habits, revealed:

  • Just a quarter use antifreeze in the cooling system
  • A third will not top up screenwash to combat dirt and rain
  • Only 14% will check oil levels and change
  • 82% will head off on a long journey without checking their battery
  • Just 6% change to winter tyres
  • Less than a third of drivers will check their brakes are working properly
  • Just 38% will test their front and rear lights
  • 26% will “do nothing” to prepare their car for winter
  • 39% will “drive with ice or steam on the windscreen” resulting in poor visibility as they cut corners in the morning.

When it comes to the safety necessities Brits carry in their car, findings reveal:

  • Ice scraper (83%)
  • De-icer (77%)
  • Torch (53%)
  • Blanket (43%)
  • Shovel (31%)
  • Bottled water (29%)
  • Antifreeze (27%)
  • Phone charger (26%)
  • Emergency food supplies (14%)

“Winter weather can be a testing and dangerous time for drivers if the proper precautions aren’t in place,” said Chris Carden, Asda’s Weather Expert

“We want to ensure that our customers can stock up on everythingthey need to stay ahead of the cold weather. A few small changes and a bit of preparation can make all the difference.”

Chris’s top tips:

  • Prepare for all winter weather eventualities – make sure your car is stocked with de-icer, an ice scraper, a blanket, torch, phone charger and shovel. A stock of emergency food and water is always a good idea for any time spent by the roadside or in traffic queues too.
  • Check your tyres before any long journey – if the treads have worn it is especially important to replace tyres in preparation for wet or icy conditions. Consider switching to winter tyres which help to reduce skidding on ice, slush and snow
  • Check your battery – make sure it’s in top condition and able to withstand starting on freezing mornings
  • Check your screenwash – it should be able to tolerate temperatures of up to minus 10c and will stop refreeze forming on your windscreen
  • Set your alarm earlier – allowing more time on icy mornings to clear your windscreen will stop the inevitable rush and resulting panic over driving with poor visibility

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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