Company car drivers more likely to take risks in wintery conditions

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - 17:00
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Snow worries

RAC urges motorists to prepare for adverse conditions in the coming weeks

As temperatures drop below zero in some parts of the country, research by the RAC suggests company car drivers are more likely than private motorists to drive on dangerous snowy roads.

The survey, which was carried out as part of the RAC’s Report on Motoring 2014, found 16% of company car drivers admitted to regularly driving in snowy conditions, compared to just 3% of private car drivers. Further to this, one in 10 (11%) company car drivers say they will often drive on ice – double the number of private drivers (5%).

It is thought more company car drivers will take the decision to drive in difficult conditions because their journey is likely to be integral to their job. However, one in four (26%) admitted to feeling ‘uncomfortable’ driving in icy conditions and one in five (19%) also said they felt ‘uncomfortable’ driving in snow.

Although the latest statistics from the Department for Transport show that the number of accidents caused by slippery roads has fallen from 20,003 in 2010 to 9,595 in 2013**, there is still concern that company car drivers could be putting themselves at risk. Furthermore, statistics suggest that it costs businesses approximately £200 a day for each vehicle to be off the road due to mechanical failure or accidents, which has longer-term implications for businesses.

As driving is an integral part of many professions and a large factor for many in getting to work, the RAC is urging drivers to be as prepared as possible if they need to drive in wintery conditions.

RAC Business Services director David Aldridge said: “Driving is a vital part of many people’s daily routines and in some cases people’s job – so it’s not always possible to down tools when the winter flurries begin. Clearly, driving in wintery conditions can be risky, so we would suggest taking special precautions and leaving yourself plenty of time to make a journey as you will need to take it slow.

“Our advice is to check local radio bulletins for news about local weather and road conditions and to make a common sense decision about whether it is appropriate to travel. If the conditions are dangerous and there is lots of snow or ice about then we would urge drivers to avoid non-essential journeys or delay their travel until conditions improve.”

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