MORE than a third of motorists do not feel prepared for winter driving this year, research has revealed.
A survey of 6,000 European drivers found 27 per cent don’t understand or use their cars’ additional safety features when the weather turns sour.
As the clocks fall back, signalling shorter days and the inevitable deterioration in weather, drivers will find themselves spending more time behind the wheel in the dark.
And this presents a worrying challenge for the 55 per cent of drivers who are nervous about driving in winter – and the 45 per cent who wish they had been taught how to drive properly in adverse weather.
The research was commissioned by Nissan which has equipped its all-new Sunderland-built Qashqai crossover with numerous advanced safety technologies to help drivers cope with tough driving conditions.
Marco Fioravanti, of Nissan Europe, said: “We know this time of year often brings insecure feelings and the data shows 55 per cent of European drivers have cancelled or postponed a journey due to bad weather.
“We have equipped the all-new Qashqai with easy-to-use technology which allows drivers to focus on the road ahead and feel reassured knowing the vehicle will support them in challenging conditions.”
The study also found that while more than half are nervous about driving during the darker months, many aren’t helping themselves – or others – with 52 per cent not waiting until their windscreen is fully demisted before starting their journey.
Three-quarters do not feel completely confident about how to bring a skid to a stop on icy roads, and 63 per cent are unsure what tyres to use when it’s snowing or the correct stopping distance in wet weather.
Fewer than half (49 per cent) of drivers feel completely confident about how to adapt their headlights to the road condition, such as turning on side lights for dusk or full beams when dark.
In snowy or rainy weather, braking distances increase, so speed should be adjusted, but two thirds of European drivers do not check their brakes for driving in winter.
And the research carried out through OnePoll also found more than a third (37 per cent) do not tend to drive more slowly in the winter.
This combined with a lack of awareness on how to adjust stopping distance in icy conditions is cause for concern as 30 per cent think the stopping distance is up to three times further compared to the recommended ten times further distance.
Following the findings, Nissan, has created an interactive quiz where motorists can find out how safe a winter driver they are.
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