Third of UK motorists have driven without fully de-icing their cars

PA

A third of motorists in the UK have admitted to driving without properly de-icing their vehicles, a new survey has revealed.

Annoyed at having to wait for their windscreens to clear, more than a quarter of drivers say that they have even driven with more than half of their windscreens covered in ice.

Drivers cited reasons such as lateness for stopping them properly clearing their screens when iced up, while 14 per cent said that the ice melts faster on a windscreen from the heat of the engine when driving. Some 13 per cent had just become frustrated at the de-icing process taking too long.

It comes from a survey of 2,000 motorists by breakdown assistance providers Green Flag. The research also found that 42 per cent of UK drivers only wait for their windscreen to clear rather than all of the car's windows, mirrors and lights. Some 59 per cent of the drivers who choose to drive with restricted vision are aged between 25 and 34.

Mark Newberry, commercial director at Green Flag, said: "Hazards can come at us from all angles when we're on the road, so it is even more important that we can see all around us in icy and challenging, wintery weather conditions.

"It takes less than ten minutes to clear the entire windscreen from ice, not forgetting your side windows and mirrors. It's crucial that you can also be seen by other drivers – so remember to clear your lights from ice too, before you embark on your journey."

A third of Londoners said that they have been involved in a collision as a result of a car's windscreen not being properly cleared of ice, while a fifth of drivers in Northern Ireland admitted the same.

Newberry added: "Remember, never be tempted to leave your car running unattended to warm up the vehicle, as not only can you face a fine, but thieves thrive on cold weather and motorists leaving their cars unattended.

"Clearing your car of ice is not only an important safety check but it is also a legal requirement – that could make the difference between a safe journey and a crash – so please follow these simple steps, look out for each other and stay safe this Christmas."

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