Many drivers are poorly prepared for the perils of winter motoring, according to the Highways Agency. Source: Press Association.
As many as 45 per cent of motorists do not make vehicle checks before the onset of bad weather and 28 per cent do not take emergency kits.
The agency's research also revealed that 53 per cent of drivers do not even carry a de-icer.
Highways Agency traffic management director Simon Sheldon-Wilson said: "The agency is well-prepared for ice and snow. We have over 500 salt-spreading vehicles, ploughs and snow blowers, and 270,000 tonnes of salt already in stock.
"Using detailed weather forecasts, we treat the road network before road temperatures fall below freezing - often at night in preparation for peak traffic periods.
"But that doesn't mean people should drive as they normally would. They still need to take care, as they would during any kind of adverse weather, and plan ahead."
Roads minister Robert Goodwill said: "The Highways Agency does all it can to keep the roads open during severe weather. But drivers need to play their part too by making simple vehicle checks, carrying a few important items and planning their journeys according to the weather. In very severe weather, drivers need to consider whether their journey is really necessary."
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