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Half of motorists fear driving in bad weather

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New TTC insight reveals half of motorists fear driving in bad weather

Recent research [1] commissioned by driver and fleet risk management expert, TTC, has revealed the negative impact winter weather has on drivers’ confidence and willingness to take to the road at night or in poor conditions. Nearly two thirds (62%) of drivers surveyed said they feel intimidated driving on icy roads; 60% in snow and over half (54%) in stormy weather. 

[1] Survey of 300 motorists via Maruhub, October 2023

“The end of October signals the start of one of the most testing times of the year to be driving, and our latest research confirms that the majority of drivers lack confidence in adapting to winter conditions”, Jim Kirkwood, CEO of TTC (pictured) explained. “If their job involves driving for work, employees can feel obliged to make a journey. But it shouldn’t be left to them to judge if a journey is necessary if weather conditions are severe.

“Fleet and business travel managers should give employees clear advice on what is deemed a ‘necessary journey’ to help avoid driving in dangerous conditions. Along with appropriate training to give drivers the skills to cope with challenging weather while on the road, fleet managers can also fulfil their Duty of Care obligations.”

Jim Kirkwood

According to the TTC survey, it is not only bad weather that is unsettling for drivers in the winter. Shortened days leave 56% struggling with the glare of oncoming headlights when driving in the dark. 69% of those who wear glasses for driving find this intimidating compared to 45% of those who do not. Reminding drivers of simple techniques, including turning down the interior lights on a vehicle and how to look after potentially tired eyes can help reinforce employee confidence.

Pedestrians crossing in the dark as well as cyclists also made drivers surveyed by TTC nervous. With recent changes to The Highway Code giving pedestrians and cyclists clearer and stronger priority on UK roads, this is another important area of focus for driver training.

Jim Kirkwood continued: “It is understandable that reduced visibility causes stress for drivers, but a clear winter driving policy can empower fleet and regular car-driving employees. Drivers need to know exactly what their employer expects of them. For example, issuing timely advice if snow is forecast, will give employees the direction to embrace virtual working or rearrange important site visits and meetings. Additional winter driver training is also critical, especially for drivers of vans and HGVs where being off the road is less of an option. By doing so, and reviewing these skills regularly, companies can arm employees with the confidence to make reasoned decisions about travel plans and navigate the UK’s roads during the winter months, as well as avoid the cost of an incident.”

Bad weather driving

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