The Continental Tyres safety study showed that despite heavy snowfall twice bringing Britain to a standstill earlier this year millions of motorists are still failing to heed warnings and prepare for driving in cold weather during dark winter months.
The research revealed that nearly half (45 per cent) will not bother to check their tyres have the legal tread depth, although fleet drivers are 11 per cent more likely to do the safety checks.
The research identified that nearly half (47 per cent) of Brits are unaware that winter tyres even exist, despite the fact that they dramatically improve stopping distances, ensuring safer driving over the winter months.
Although fleet drivers are five times more likely to have winter tyres fitted to their car as over a third of companies have a policy to fit the tyres during the winter months.
Tracey Hyem, a safety expert for Continental Tyres which carried out the research among 3,000 drivers nationwide, said: ''While fleet drivers are generally better than other motorists with winter driving, they can still improve on basic safety checks to prepare for the conditions we will face.
''It is surprising that only a third of companies with fleets on the road have a winter driving policy, and it is clear more needs to be done.
“We would encourage all companies to fit winter tyres on fleet cars, as they are developed specifically to work more effectively in colder temperatures.
“Even if it doesn’t reach freezing point the rubber compound used in normal tyres starts to harden below seven degrees meaning less grip on the road and longer stopping distances.”
It also emerged that fleet drivers were particularly bad at driving off without clearing the windscreen fully of ice, with one in three admitting to doing this regularly as they are ‘in too much of a rush.’