Young motorists avoid winter driving

With the clocks going back on 28 October heralding the start of winter driving, a new survey of young drivers by Marmalade revealed the extent of their fears over driving in the winter months, with 39% claiming bad weather conditions as their number one concern.

Almost 20% of those who have recently passed their driving test say they actively avoid getting behind the wheel at all when the winter conditions kick in. A further 40% look up advice online before venturing out, which can be useful, but isn’t the same as practical driving experience.

Marmalade director Adam Moger said, ‘The end of BST signals months of driving in colder temperatures, wetter conditions and darkness. For those young people who have learned to drive and passed their tests in the warmer months, it could be their first experience of driving in the dark or in poor conditions.

‘It’s a time that presents motorists with new hazards such as poor visibility and slippery road surfaces and one that demands specific practice. We recommend that, whether young people are learners or have qualified as drivers recently, their parents take the opportunity to give them a few extra guided sessions – themselves or with an instructor – specifically looking at how to handle difficult conditions. The Pass Plus scheme may be useful if parents aren’t confident themselves.’

Preparing a car for winter weather is also essential and something that any older driver can help young people with.

National data suggests that all drivers are at risk in the winter months. Reported accidents by daylight and darkness in Great Britain in 2017 highlighted a 40% hike in the number of accidents during darkness (170,993), compared to the those occurring in daylight hours (120,925).

Statistics from The Department of Transport also highlight seasonal peaks in car users having more accidents during the colder months last year, with November (the month following BST ending) showing the highest number of car accidents (8,657) and deaths (85).