As the weather forecast carries warnings of a cold snap, many Irish drivers admit that they do not feel confident on the roads during snow and ice.
New research suggests nearly three in four Irish drivers (74%) do not feel confident when driving in poor weather conditions. Just one in five Irish drivers said they feel that Irish roads are equipped to deal with weather such as ice, snow, strong winds and fog.
The RED C Research data for Liberty Insurance found that ice on the roads and snow have the strongest negative impact on confidence amongst drivers: less than half (43%) of all drivers are confident driving in snow, while just over a third (35%) feel confident operating their vehicle with ice on the roads.
The research found confidence levels when driving in such conditions to be lowest among young drivers, females and those living in Munster. 80% of surveyed drivers below the age of 30 said they were not confident about bad weather driving and just 15% of drivers said they feel adequately prepared to drive in inclement weather following the successful completion of their driving test.
Deirdre Ashe, Director of Personal Lines at Liberty Insurance, said: “This nervousness in driving in poor weather becomes all the more concerning in light of the anticipated freezing weather conditions later in the week. The Met Office is predicting temperatures to fall to between -2C and 1C from Thursday onward. This means icy roads, particularly in the north and west of the country.
“We are therefore calling on all drivers to be aware of their surroundings especially in adverse or wintry weather conditions and exercise their best judgement when travelling.”
Deirdre shared the following advice: “Before driving in poor weather, check your tyre pressure and tyre treads. Ensure all lights are working and that you have sufficient levels of anti-freeze coolant and screen wash in the car.
“Once on the road, in case of poor visibility, allow additional space between you and the vehicle in front of you, avoid overtaking, and remain extra vigilant for cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians.”