One in four drivers has been involved in a motor accident in snowy or icy conditions…

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Males more likely to be involved in winter accidents despite greater confidence behind the wheel
Findings suggest that refusal to adapt driving style for adverse weather makes accidents more likely

One in four drivers (26 per cent) has been involved in a motor accident in snow or icy conditions, with six per cent claiming to have done so in the past 12 months, according to new research from Santander Car Insurance².

The results reveal that despite greater confidence, male drivers have been involved in more winter driving accidents. Just 16 per cent of male drivers admit to not feeling confident behind the wheel in snow or ice compared to 43 per cent of female drivers, yet nearly twice as many male drivers – 33 per cent against 18 per cent of female motorists – have been involved in a winter weather road accident.

This may be partially due to a refusal to adapt their driving style in snow or ice; nine per cent of male drivers say they choose not to adapt their driving style in adverse conditions compared to just three per cent of their female counterparts.

The findings suggest that a refusal to adapt your driving style in winter weather can make it much more likely that you are involved in an accident. Just six per cent of all drivers choose not to adapt their driving style in snow or ice, but this figure rises to almost one in three (30 per cent) of those drivers who have had a winter weather accident in the past year.

Overall, 29 per cent of drivers say they don't feel confident driving in winter weather and six per cent feel they are bad winter drivers. Six per cent also don't know how to adapt their driving in winter weather and 45 per cent of drivers are more concerned about how the conditions affect other people's driving than their own.

Motorists are also failing to prepare adequately before driving in winter conditions, according to the study. The vast majority of drivers (92 per cent) still don't put on winter tyres, 53 per cent don't ensure they have sufficient anti-freeze and 52 per cent don't check the tyre tread and pressure are of the required levels before setting out on their journey.

Richard Al-Dabbagh, Santander Insurance, said: "Driving is obviously much more dangerous when the roads are icy or have snow on them and we all know that adverse weather conditions result in a greater number of collisions and other road accidents. Therefore it is vital that drivers take adequate precautions before venturing out in potentially dangerous conditions. By taking care in advance and being more cautious behind the wheel they can substantially reduce their chances of having an accident or breaking down on the road.

"Whatever the weather, it's always important for drivers to take the time to check their car insurance policy and make sure they are adequately covered. In particular they should check excess levels, the uses their car is covered for (business, commuting, social etc) and the level of cover they have – ie third party or comprehensive. Having sufficient insurance cover in place could save them a lot of money if they are involved in a collision."