Continental: 3 Million Motorists Had Accidents During Big Freeze
Nearly three million motorists have had a run-in with another vehicle during the recent winter weather, according to research by Continental Tyres. One in 10 drivers are said to have crashed into cars in the last month during the snowy and icy weather. 45 per cent said they had two or more near misses over the cold snap. The average motorist involved in a prang has done £320 worth of damage – but a third failed to own up to their wrong-doing if the accident was their fault. Another 34 per cent avoided involving their insurance company in order to keep their ‘No Claims Bonus’.
Tim Bailey, safety expert at Continental Tyres, which carried out the poll of 1,000 drivers, said: “This is a shocking number of accidents in a short period and it reveals how many people are unprepared for driving in these conditions. We are not necessarily past the worst yet, as further snow and ice could arrive. The stress of driving in bad weather conditions can lead people to make mistakes, such as driving too closely to the vehicle in front in conditions where stopping distances would be increased. This is when accidents can happen as drivers underestimate the time it takes to come to a full stop.”
Half of those polled had to dig their car out of the snow, one in five were pushed up a hill and an unfortunate one in 12 had to abandon their car. But to make matters worse, the study found one in three drivers admit hitting the road without being able to see out of their windscreen properly. Motorists claimed to be ”in too much of a rush” to fully defrost their vehicle before heading off to work.
Seven out of ten never check tyre tread depth and fail to ensure tyres are roadworthy, and one in two never put anti-freeze in radiators. Four out of ten don’t check windscreen washer bottle levels and a similar figure don’t bother to check whether their wipers are working properly. 25 per cent don’t even bother checking if their lights are working.