Almost A Quarter Of Brits Have Been Involved In An Accident Due To The Winter Weather

Expert Serious Injury Lawyers At Irwin Mitchell Partner With Charity Brake To Promote #SaferJourneys

13.01.2016

Oliver Wicks, Press Officer | 0114 274 4649

Research conducted by national law firm Irwin Mitchell revealed that almost a quarter of Brits have been involved in an accident due to the winter weather with many drivers admitting to not taking the appropriate precautions when on the road in treacherous conditions.

The findings also suggest that despite admitting they are not confident in bad weather, many drivers don’t drive any differently even if it’s snowing, there’s ice on the roads or there are high winds and rain.

Specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell see an increase in road collision enquiries in winter when compared with the summer months. As part of their #SaferJourneys campaign they’re working in partnership with road safety charity Brake to promote switched on and sensible driving this winter.

Research commissioned by the firm discovered that many drivers are not taking the appropriate precautions in bad weather and therefore are potentially putting fellow road users and pedestrians at risk of injury.

The survey of 1,647 UK adults that regularly travel, found that less than half feel confident driving in icy or snowy conditions and almost a quarter of drivers admit they have lost control of their vehicles or been involved in some type of winter accident from minor prangs to major collisions.

The research also revealed that 80% of respondents have witnessed examples of dangerous winter driving and that almost 40% do not reduce their normal driving speed during the winter months.

20% of those survived admitted to driving before their windscreen has completely demisted despite this being illegal.

Expert Opinion
“Across the winter months we have traditionally seen a rise in the number of enquiries involving collisions on the roads, and while this isn’t solely related to the weather, it is clearly important that drivers take more care on the roads at this time of year when conditions can be very difficult to negotiate.

“It’s worrying that our research shows that many people are not taking the appropriate precautions when driving in bad weather, despite admitting that they are not comfortable in those conditions. Some of the findings from the survey make difficult reading and if you don’t feel confident on the road then leave your vehicle at home.

“We see on a daily basis the impact of road collisions; serious injuries can be life-changing with people often left needing 24-hour care and rehabilitation for the rest of their lives.

“We urge all drivers to consider their responsibilities when they get behind the wheel. If you are traveling during the winter then make sure you plan ahead for bad weather and allow extra time for your trip.

“We recommend that people use the safe driving advice provided by organisations such as Brake and remind everyone to stay safe and sensible when out on the road this winter.”
Neil Whiteley, Partner

Irwin Mitchell is running a #SaferJourneys campaign to remind all road users of the dangers on the road when the dark nights draw in and the bad weather falls. The law firm has also produced a road safety A-Z which schools are using to help keep pupils safe.

Road charity Brake continues to raise awareness of the dangers of driving at this time of year and provide a range of helpful winter road safety tips on their website.

Brake’s Campaigns and Communications Director, Gary Rae said: “Winter gives us some of the most hazardous driving conditions possible. That’s why we are working with Irwin Mitchell to call on drivers to be very cautious in extreme conditions and do everything possible to help avoid tragedies during the coldest months of the year.

“Ice, snow, heavy rain and fog make driving incredibly risky; stopping distances double in the wet and increase ten-fold in ice and snow.

“If snow is forecast we urge people not to drive, but if you get caught in bad weather the critical thing is to slow right down and keep your distance, bearing in mind it will take you much longer to stop in an emergency or to react if visibility is reduced.“

Brake’s simple ABC winter driving advice can be found on their website.

Further details of Irwin Mitchell’s winter driving research can be found here and the firm’s #SaferJourneys campaign is here.