By Denna Bowman
One in three drivers admit to setting out this winter without being able to see out of their windscreen properly, an alarming tyres company survey has revealed.
Research carried out for Continental tyres found that most motorists are ”in too much of a rush” to fully defrost their vehicle before heading off to work.
It also emerged men are far worse than women at pulling off the driveway while peering through a tiny spot of clear glass at the road ahead.
The study also found more than one in ten drivers have had a near-miss in the last year because they haven’t cleared their windscreen.
Tim Bailey safety expert at Continental Tyres, which polled 4,000 drivers, said: ”Preparation is key when setting out in your car, especially during the winter months. It is essential to be able to see and be seen.
”An astonishing 52 per cent of people know it is wrong to drive without a fully clear windscreen but fail to do anything about it.
”Stopping distances are affected by weather and road conditions and people are six times more likely to have an accident during the winter months.
”Check your lights, ensure your windscreen and windows are clear, that your brakes are in good condition, your tyres have a minimum of 3mm of tread and increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front.”
It also emerged four out of ten motorists don’t bother cleaning mirrors or rear windows before setting off in the winter.
And such is the lack of preparation that one in five have reported to using a credit card to clear the windscreen of ice.
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.
A quarter don’t even bother checking if their lights are working.