AS WINTER APPROACHES, MOTORISTS FEAR NEW DRIVERS MORE THAN RAIN, SNOW AND ICE

As the Met office warns we could be facing one of the wettest winters ever, you may be surprised by what motorists are most concerned about when it comes to driving in winter months. Rather than hazardous weather conditions; black ice; getting stuck in snow or being stranded, a new study from Halfords Autocentres reveals that when it comes to winter driving, the thing motorists fear most is new drivers!  

The survey by Britain’s leading independent garage chain found that almost a third of motorists (29.2%) rank inexperienced drivers as the most worrying hazard when driving in winter.  This was followed closely by skidding on surface water or ice (28%) and driving in fog (27%). 

The ability of new drivers to deal with adverse weather conditions is such a concern that 85% of those surveyed think that winter driving techniques should be part of the practical exam for learner drivers.  67% said aquaplaning on surface water and skidding on ice posed the biggest threat to new drivers who have no experience of dealing with such situations. 

The behaviour of other road users plays a big part in how confident motorists feel about driving in poor weather.  64% said people take more risks driving during winter and 38% said inconsiderate and aggressive driving actually increases at this time of year which can be extremely intimidating for new drivers.

Halfords Autocentres’ Stefan Warhaftig said: “Winter road conditions can be challenging for motorists but it seems that other road users rather than deteriorating weather conditions is what causes drivers the most concern.  Driving in heavy rain, snow and ice can be daunting, especially for those with no experience of driving in such conditions. And it’s not just new drivers that this affects, last year’s mild winter means that even people who passed their test in the last couple of years may not have experienced driving in severe weather conditions before. 

“But even the most experienced drivers fear winter motoring with 48% of people surveyed saying they are anxious or genuinely frightened about driving in the winter and 17% said they reduce the amount of driving they do or even stop completely.”

To help motorists face the challenges of the changing weather we have once again produced a Winter Survival Guide which combines SAS survival tactics from John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman with technical knowledge from a range of experts including Team Dynamics, MIRA and St John Ambulance.  The updated guide also has several new sections including one from RED Driving School which offers tips and advice for new drivers who have never driven in wintery conditions before.

The Winter Survival Guide is an accessible, jargon free format that makes for an easy yet informative read.  It is free to download and contains different chapters tackling scenarios involving ice and snow as well as good general advice on subjects such as administering first aid and how to safely pack your car.

To download a free copy of the Winter Survival Guide or read the advice in full visit http://www.halfordsautocentres.com/advice/news/winter-survival-guide. To watch the films in Halfords Autocentre Survival Series visit https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLuqHRH0o_7PiNurjLIEvKmKQwkGuG88ng

ENDS

Media Contacts

Vicky Coyle or Josh Roberts, Grayling Public Relations, T: 0121 265 7070, E: vicky.coyle@grayling.com / josh.roberts@grayling.com

About Halfords Autocentres

Halfords Autocentres is a leading independent garage network with a heritage spanning more than three decades.

Highly trained technicians at over 300 Halfords Autocentres carry out over 1 million jobs a year - including MOTs, car servicing and repairs as well as tyre sales and fitting - for over 850,000 customers a year, with more than 9 out of 10 of them being happy to recommend us to their friends.

Being independent means that we deliver dealership quality work at more affordable prices for any make or model of car. We offer a price match guarantee and a minimum guarantee of 12 months or 12,000 miles on work carried out (See website for terms and conditions).

www.halfordsautocentres.com

About Us

Halfords is the UK's leading retailer of automotive, cycling and leisure products and, through Halfords Autocentres, also one of the UK's leading independent car servicing and repair operators. Halfords customers shop at 465 stores in the UK and ROI and at halfords.com for pick-up at their local store or direct home delivery. Halfords Autocentres operates from around 300 sites nationally and offers motorists dealership-quality MOTs, repairs and car servicing at affordable prices. The Halfords group strategy is based on three pillars: · Supporting Drivers Of Every Car · Inspiring Cyclists Of Every Age · Equipping Families For Their Leisure Time The Getting Into Gear strategy for the Retail business is based on executing in five key areas in order to deliver a significantly-enhanced customer experience: · Service Revolution · The H Factor · Stores Fit to Shop · 21st Century Infrastructure · Click with the Digital Future Halfords employs approximately 12,000 colleagues and sells around 9,000 product lines in store, increasing to around 160,000 Retail products online. The Retail offering encompasses significant ranges in car parts, cycling products, in-car technology, child seats, roof boxes and camping equipment. Halfords’ own cycling brands include Apollo, Carrera and Boardman cycles, augmented by a range of other brands of cycles and accessories, including Kona, Mongoose, Raleigh and Pinarello. In Auto, the Halfords Essentials and Halfords Enhanced ranges are sold alongside brands such as Generic Electric, Bosch, Garmin and TomTom. The Retail Auto offering was recently augmented by the introduction of Car Parts Direct, a service delivering rapid customer access to around 130,000 car parts. In Travel Solutions, Halfords sells a premium range of camping equipment including brands such as Vango and Outwell. Halfords offers customers expert advice and a fitting service for car parts, child seats, satellite navigation and in-car entertainment systems, and a service for cycles.

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Quick facts

Almost a third of motorists rank inexperienced drivers as the most worrying hazard when driving in winter.
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85% of people think that winter driving techniques should be part of the practical exam for learner drivers.
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Quotes

Driving in heavy rain, snow and ice can be daunting, especially for those with no experience of driving in such conditions. And it’s not just new drivers that this affects, last year’s mild winter means that even people who passed their test in the last couple of years may not have experienced driving in severe weather conditions before.
Stefan Warhaftig