Motorists like it hot

UK motorists unprepared for freezing driving conditions

UK motorists are unprepared for the freezing driving conditions this week according to new research commissioned by the AA. The UK's largest motoring organisation has discovered that the average motorist's car reaches a staggering 22°C – hotter than the average winter temperature in The Bahamas – and is concerned that many drivers and their vehicles will not be ready for cold weather as temperatures drop across the country. The research also revealed that almost a sixth (15 per cent) of Brits are driving in temperatures of more than 25°C – conditions more suited to a bikini than a winter coat.

T-shirts and underwear!

According to the poll of over 1,000 motorists , a quarter (26 per cent) of motorists head out in their vehicles wearing just a t-shirt, regardless of the temperature outside. And, men are the least prepared for winter driving with one in 10 confessing they've driven wearing nothing but their underwear! A further one in 10 admit they don't take any extra clothing with them in the car during the winter, despite the risk of a breakdown which could leave them out in the cold.

Cold Snap

As we enter what is predicted to be the coldest snap so far this year, the AA is asking drivers to think ahead before setting off in their cars. In 2003, motorists on the M11 found themselves stranded for up to 20 hours on icy roads and in freezing temperatures as snow storms swept the nation. And, considering it takes just two hours for hypothermia to set in, without sufficient protection against the cold, drivers are putting their health, and that of their passengers, at risk simply by being unprepared.

AA Advice

AA Patrol of the Year, Dave Macintyre, advises: "Breaking down or getting stuck in traffic is stressful enough, add cold weather to the equation and a stressful situation can easily become dangerous if you're not prepared. Working on the nations roads every day, we see motorists driving wearing little more than a t-shirt or vest and with the British weather being as unpredictable as it is, motorists should really make sure they're prepared for every eventuality."

Macintyre continues: "We advise all motorists to make sure they take an extra jumper or coat, as well as a drink and a snack with you, when you head out in your car this winter to ensure you're prepared and protected in case you find yourself suddenly facing cold, wintry weather."

The AA has been preparing itself for the winter months too, by recruiting additional patrols to make sure that if drivers do find themselves in a breakdown situation, the AA won't be far away.

More winter driving advice

Breakdown advice

Notes to Editors

ICM interviewed a random sample of 1,005 adults aged 18+ by telephone between 12th and 14th January 2007. Interviews were conducted across the UK and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at

Car temperature data was taken from a random sample of 100 motorists asked to record the temperature inside their car on an average journey


20 March 2007