Survey reveals drivers not understand the dangers of driving in ice and snow

11/01/2013 in News Home

print twitter fb in
Was this article useful?

Click the thumbs up >

A recent survey by Brake and Churchill Car Insurance found most drivers don’t fully understand the dangers of driving in ice and snow, and many will happily set off in treacherous conditions. Only one in six (16%) avoid driving in snow while nine in ten (91%) underestimate stopping distances in icy conditions by half. 13% do not ensure their car has a minimum 3mm tyre tread over winter, and 14% don’t  carry an ice-scraper or de-icer over winter.

Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said:“Every year we support many families whose lives have been torn apart by bad weather crashes, so we’re calling on drivers to do everything they can to help avoid tragedies during this cold snap. The most important message is to err on the side of caution and not drive if it’s snowing, forecast to snow, or there are other potentially deadly conditions. Ice, snow, heavy rain and fog make driving incredibly risky; stopping distances double in the wet and can increase ten-fold in ice and snow, and if you can’t see clearly you can’t react to hazards. We are also urging drivers to be prepared. Listen to forecasts, and make sure your vehicle is properly maintained and kitted out. If you get caught in bad weather the most critical thing is to slow right down and keep your distance, bearing in mind it will take you much longer to stop in an emergency.”

Brake’s ABC advice on winter driving

Avoid driving in snow and other treacherous conditions. Never set off when it’s snowing or forecast to, and avoid driving if you possibly can in other bad conditions like fog, heavy rain and ice. Consider alternatives such as walking or using public transport if available. Speak to your employer in advance about working from home when weather is very bad, especially if you live in a rural area prone to snow or floods.

Be prepared. Make sure your vehicle is well maintained, and tyres have a tread depth of at least 3mm. Check forecasts and plan your route to avoid roads likely to be more risky and allow plenty of time. Pack a winter driving kit in case you’re caught out. This should include: an ice scraper or de-icer; torch; cloths; a blanket and warm clothes; food and drink; first-aid kit; spade; warning triangle; and high-visibility vest. Always take a fully charged phone in case of emergencies, but don’t be tempted to use it when driving.

Careful and cautious driving. If you do get caught out driving in treacherous conditions, you need to slow right down increase the distance behind the vehicle in front. In rain your stopping distance doubles, so keep a four second gap. In snow or icy conditions stopping distances increase by as much as ten times so you need to drop right back. Keep careful look out for people on foot and bikes who may be harder to spot. Avoid harsh braking and acceleration and carry out manoeuvres slowly and with extra care.

Fleet News
email 01733 468655


Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!



(no need to login)

Your name:

Your email:

(will not be shown)

Please enter the code above.

Notify me when people reply

Click here to login to leave a comment

Comments (1)

Bob - 115 weeks ago

The current driving test does cover most if not all areas above. I believe older drivers should take some kind of test to ensure they are up to todays test standards. We have had snow today and I'm sure Tyre Safe will be sending another update today! Even with winter tyres these people would still get into trouble since they dont know how to drive.

Advertisement feature:
How secure is your fuel payment solution?
The fuel card market is failing fleet managers when it comes to security. The industry's heavy reliance on magnetic stripe cards is a significant weak spot in modern-day card security- a weak spot criminals are keen to take advantage of.
Advertisement feature:
How can Telogis Route save you time and money?
It is increasingly important to get visibility into tomorrow’s plans today.
Click here to download this ebook to explore the benefits of route optimisation technology.
Advertisment feature: 
Introducing Electric Vehicles into your Fleet.
Every organisation in the UK is looking for new, more efficient ways to meet the increasingly complex demands of keeping their business moving.

© 2015 Bauer Automotive
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)