Fleet News

Drivers ignore severe weather warnings

A severe weather warning is expected to be issued by the Met Office advising motorists not to travel unless absolutely necessary over the weekend.

However, a new survey has revealed that up to two thirds of motorists will ignore the warnings and drive anyway.

Even when faced with dire warnings to expect atrocious driving conditions, 57% of motorists surveyed by Alphabet say they will go out in their car if they feel their journey is important.

And 10% say they ignore weather alerts because “it’s never as bad as they say.”

However, company car drivers are more likely not to drive if advised that it is safer to stay off the roads.

Only 12% of male company car drivers and 5% of their female colleagues were prepared to risk it, compared to 16% of male private car drivers and 6% of female private car drivers.

Women drivers are most likely to heed the warnings – 35% say they will not drive if advised not to; only 6% of female drivers routinely ignore official severe weather warnings.

By contrast, 14% of men are prepared to risk accidents or delays by going out despite warnings.

However, such bravado costs lives and stretches emergency services to the limit.

For example, more than 33,000 motorists called for help as storms and flooding swept the UK in June 2007; 1,000 drivers spent a night in emergency shelters on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, in November 2004, when a blizzard trapped their vehicles; and tens of thousands of motorists in the southeast and East Midlands battled through snow and ice for up to 20 hours on January 2003, during one of the UK’s worst winter traffic nightmares.

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