Millions of British motorists are unprepared for winter driving

As a nation, we're averse to getting our cars ready for winter conditions, risking breakdowns and even accidents as a result

Winter driving

A survey of 2,000 motorists has revealed many British motorists are unprepared for winter driving. Nearly half admit that no maintenance or checks have been carried out on their vehicles in preparation for colder weather.

According to the AA, as many as one in six say they’ve broken down during the colder months as a direct result of not checking or preparing their car. Tyre pressure, tyre tread, battery life and oil condition are all essential checks that should be done before driving in the cold.

Fully 74 percent of drivers did not consider battery checks important for winter driving. Dead batteries are the most common cause of winter breakdowns.

Winter driving

Four in 10 don’t know how to adjust the height of their headlight beams and, incredibly, one in six don’t know how to work their high-beam headlights from behind the wheel.

Indeed, many are unaware of how to put their foglights on and 40 percent said they didn’t know how to fill up with anti-freeze. What isn’t a shock is that one in seven said winter driving proves more difficult than summer driving, with one in 10 saying they avoid it completely.

As many as 20 percent of the five million road accidents a year are mainly down to weather, the government says.

On the bright side, 80 percent people know how to clear an icy windscreen and 73 percent can check windscreen washer fluid. Worryingly, one in 10 didn’t know boiling water on a frozen windscreen is, in fact, a bad idea…

Winter driving: essential checks

  • Check tyre treads and pressures
  • Get brake pads and discs checked
  • Check battery charge
  • Top up anti-freeze
  • Top up washer fluid
  • Check bulbs, keep lights clean
  • Examine your wiper blades

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Ethan Jupp
I'm Content Editor at MR. Road trips music and movies are my vices. Perennially stuck between French hot hatches and Australian muscle cars.



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