With the Met office producing red weather warnings across the UK, you would think that most people would be sensible and change their driving plans accordingly, to avoid the risk of being caught in bad weather and suffering either an accident or a breakdown. However, a recent report conducted by the AA suggests that up to a third of all drivers would ignore a red warning, if it was an inconvenience to them.
A Third At Risk
Last week, the AA conducted a survey which consisted of over 12,000 drivers. The reports showed that 33% of all survey respondents would ignore red warnings for snow, and 62% would continue to drive even if there was a yellow warning for snow.
These disturbing figures continue to persist, even when confronted with other dangerous weather conditions like sleet. 21% of respondents were likely to disregard yellow weather warnings completely.
Staying Safe on the Roads
Staying safe on the roads is critical for both drivers and civilians. However, nearly 500 people have been seriously killed or injured on roads in the snow since 2017. Understandably, it’s very important to stay safe during these conditions.
Nick Powell is part of the AA Patrol of the Year, and offered the following thoughts:
“It’s clear that many people will risk their vehicles and themselves on wintry roads – even when the worst weather is predicted. The AA will be out on patrol as usual but there are some simple and common sense precautions drivers need to take to avoid a winter nightmare in the first place.
As outside temperatures start to drop, it’s important to allow extra time for your journey. Use some of this time to properly de-ice your vehicle windows and clear snow from the lights. Driving with an obscured view can land you with a hefty fine and can lead to disqualification from driving.
On a frosty morning, hazards like black ice can prove lethal if you don’t adjust your speed and driving style in colder weather. Always leave plenty of space behind other vehicles as stopping distances can be 10 times longer on icy roads. Checking your tyre pressures and tread depth is essential to help keep you safe on the road.
Allowing extra time can also help if you encounter delays to your normal routes. In addition to checking your oil, anti-freeze and windscreen washer fluid levels - make sure you pack winter essentials in the car such as warm, waterproof layers, a shovel, a torch, and a flask of hot drink.
Take heed of warning lights in your vehicle and make sure you check it regularly if you drive less in the winter. Having sufficient breakdown cover can offer peace of mind if the worst should happen. Flat batteries are one of the top breakdowns we attend in cold weather and can be avoided by regular car maintenance.”
Hopefully, people take heed of his words and make sensible decisions while driving out in poor conditions this year, or simply avoid doing so.