Two Minute Warming

Motorists are not prepared this winter

Over half (nearly 60 per cent) of Britain's motorists are not prepared for the journey ahead this winter, according to new research from the AA . In response to this, the AA is issuing road users with a 'two minute warming' – encouraging motorists to take just a couple of minutes before every journey to make sure their vehicle is in roadworthy condition.


As the temperature drops and the rain and snow sets in, misted and frozen windscreens become commonplace on the nation's roads, reducing drivers' vision and leading to potential accidents. The AA research sees impatient motorists confess that they don't take the time to prepare their vehicle before they hit the road during the unpredictable winter months, with one in 10 failing to demist or scrape the frost from their windscreens before driving off in the morning.

Too cold

The poll of motorists also reveals that, during the winter, many clear just enough mist or frost from their car windscreen to see through on the driver's side, or alternatively they give up on the car entirely and take public transport instead! One in 20 even confessed that they won't leave the house early to prepare their vehicle simply because it is too cold outside.

Safety concerns

The AA research highlights a concern that impatient motorists are adding to the already hazardous driving conditions on the UK's roads this winter. AA patrols attended 1.25 million breakdowns during the winter months in 2005 (Nov 2005 to Feb 2006) and with over 2,500 people killed or seriously injured on the roads in December last year, the UK's leading motoring organisation is asking drivers to take extra time and care to make sure their vehicle is prepared for the journey ahead.

AA Advice

AA Patrol of the Year, David Macintyre, advises: "As the cold and wet weather kicks in, driving conditions will get increasingly tricky and motorists may find they need to cope with weather related hazards. Decreased visibility is one of those, so make sure you de-mist before you set off.

"The most quick and effective way to demist is to give your car a quick blast of air con (If you don't have aircon, opening a window for a short while will help) and if frost is the problem then a scraper and elbow grease is still the most tried and trusted solution! By adding even two minutes to your journey time, to allow the mist and frost to clear, you'll be making the roads a safer place for you and other road users this winter."

The AA will be preparing itself for the winter onslaught too, and has been 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 Research interviewed a random sample of 1006 adults aged 18+ by telephone between 1-3 December 2006. Interviews were conducted across the country 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


07 December 2006