Preparing for Winter

Are drivers prepared for the onslaught of bad weather?

44% of drivers have done nothing to prepare for the winter weather

15 December 2010

As the UK braces itself for the return of heavy snow in the next 48 hours, the AA asks whether drivers are prepared. 44% of drivers have done nothing to prepare for the winter weather.

Severe weather warnings have been issued by the Met Office as cold Arctic air is expected to bring temperatures down to as low as minus 10C. This is predicted to lead to northerly winds and snow across the country.

Gritting

A small majority of AA members (51%) expect road gritting to be better than last year, according to an AA/Populus* poll of 15,927 members.

41% expect gritting to be about the same and 7% expect it to be worse, these findings came at the beginning of the cold spell in a poll conducted between 26 November and 3 December 2010.

Those areas that have already experienced the worst snow such as the North East (10%) and Scotland (9%) were more likely to think gritting would be worse.

What have you done to prepare?

44% of drivers have done nothing to prepare for severe conditions on the roads this winter.

Of those that have prepared for winter:

  • 39% put a shovel, blankets etc. in the car
  • 19% have bought a sturdy pair of walking boots
  • 6% have made arrangements to stay with friends/colleagues if the weather suddenly turns bad
  • 4% bought all season tyres
  • 3% bought winter tyres
  • 1% bought snow chains
  • 12% have taken other measures

Highway authorities will be under great pressure as dwindling salt supplies are stretched Male drivers (45%) and those aged 25-34 (51%) were most likely to have done nothing to prepare.

Those over 65 were least likely to have done nothing (40%).

Drivers in Scotland (12%) and the North East (9%), Wales (9%), Yorkshire and Humberside (9%) were most likely to have bought winter or all season tyres.

Drivers in Northern Ireland were least likely to have put a shovel in the car (26%) and those in Scotland were most likely to have done this (49%).

London drivers (53%) were most likely to have done nothing and those in Scotland least likely to have done nothing to prepare (35%).

Drivers in the North East were most likely to have bought a sturdy pair of boots (27%) and those in Scotland and North Ireland were most likely to have made arrangements to stay with someone.

Comment

Commenting, Edmund King, AA president, said: "We are concerned that some drivers have not made enough preparations for the severe winter conditions on the roads. With good reason Scottish drivers have done most to prepare. Those preparations were warranted as many drivers have experienced horrendous conditions on the roads in Scotland already this winter.

"A small majority think that highway authorities are better prepared than last year to grit the roads but a large proportion of drivers are still cynical about this. Highway authorities will be under great pressure as their dwindling salt supplies are stretched as the arctic spell continues.

"winter tyres are certainly becoming more popular with UK drivers particularly with those in areas most often hit by snow."

more winter driving advice from the AA »

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*AA/Populus received 15,927 responses to its online poll between 26 November and 3 December 2010.

 

15 December 2010