One in three drivers ignore warnings not to drive in poor conditions

Published 12 December 2017

Snowfall blanketed most of the UK this week, but drivers across Britain are still unprepared for the snow and icy conditions.

In fact, one in three drivers ignore advice to not drive in bad weather unless it’s absolutely necessary. That's according to a survey by AA Tyres.

And many of those that do venture out are ill prepared. Less than half of drivers carry warm clothing and suitable footwear in the car in case they get stuck in bad weather.

Meanwhile, only a quarter take the initiative to replace worn tyres before they reach the legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm. However, on the plus side, 65% of motorists do check their tyre pressures and conditions regularly over the winter.

A third of motorists also prepare for snowfall by carrying a shovel or spade in their car during winter.

>> How to drive in snow and ice

Simon Benson, director of motoring services at AA Tyres, said: "It’s vital to check the overall condition of your tyres as winter rolls in, but you risk your safety by failing to replace tyres before they reach the legal minimum tread depth.

As your tyres’ tread wears down, your grip decreases – particularly on wet roads – so driving in heavy rain or on icy roads is considerably more dangerous if your tyres are worn down to the legal limit."

Comments

Mark Hildyard    on 18 December 2017

It's always good to be reminded that all that's keeping the average family car in contact with the road - is four A4 sheet sized areas of rubber. It's actually fairly amazing that anyone stays underway in 'less than ideal conditions', at all! :-)

jchinuk    on 18 December 2017

I have always felt that the advice, "not to drive unless absolutely necessary" is too woolly to be of any practical use.

Is it 'absolutely necessary' to go to work? Depending on the attitude of your employer, quite possibly.
Is is 'absolutely necessary' to go shopping? Probably not, but I'm sure it is for some people.
Is it 'absolutely necessary' to check on aged relatives? In most cases, I think I'd say yes.

That is just three examples that illustrate there is no clear answer, add to that those who think it's better to drive than risk being stranded by a problem with public transport.

If the Government is serious, they should impose curfews on driving on roads if the weather dictates, but I suspect that is not likely, but unless they do that moaning that people think their journey is 'absolutely necessary' is rather pointless.

Mark Hildyard    on 18 December 2017

Totally agree - 'necessary' is just one of those terms rendered meaningless by subjectivity, similar to 'vulnerable' - means pretty much whatever one wants it to...

Keith Moat    on 18 December 2017

The only problem with more people staying at home, and this occurred this week in the west midlands, is that there is not enough traffic to spread the grit around on the roads so they don't clear.

geoerge    on 19 December 2017

The only problem with more people staying at home, and this occurred this week in the west midlands, is that there is not enough traffic to spread the grit around on the roads so they don't clear.

Hi I find it easiier to drive with less traffic. there is less need to keep stoping or have to get past some vehicle spinning it's wheels. It has been 7 years since the last heavy snow so many of the drivers are ineperienced. When I started motoring there was neither grit nor antifreeze. One set out with snow chains, shovel, warm clothing, an old carpet and water to replace water drained at ones destination. In 1947 there were 30 foot snow drifts, there was no option then if you could get out of the house you would have dificulty in finding the car in order to dig it out. Bread, milk, coal, the post and newspapers were still delivered. However horses and carts were more popular then.

gordonbennet    on 20 December 2017

It makes sense for those frightened of severe weather motoring to not venture out, and it makes sense for people to at least prepare themselves and their vehicles for bad weather. It's no help to anyone the roads full of ill prepared and stranded vehicles with drivers lacking suitable supplies or suitable clothing needing to be saved from their own folly.

We don't get enough snow in England, the most populated part of the isles, for people to learn from an early age (and their mistakes eg no decent coat, silly shoes) that bad weather is dangerous and should be respected, if the incompetent kept out of the way for a while it would leave the gritters and suitable people/vehicles to grind the snow down and all could return to normal.

The hill i live at the bottom of the gritters do not serve, but there is a grit bin, have a guess who together with his neighbour friend were the only two who bothered to spread some grit on the hill so everyone could go to work??? no prizes for correct guess, the irony being John and i have proper 4x4's so were the only one who could get up the hill uncleared anyway (this site needs a face palm smiley), others just couldn't be bothered.

New Britain, not a clue how to help themselves.

Edited by gordonbennet on 20/12/2017 at 11:29

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