Third of drivers risk driving without fully de-icing their cars

Scraping ice off the windshield.

How much extra time do you leave to defrost your car in the mornings?

According to research by Green Flag, a third of motorists have driven without fully de-icing their cars.

All iced up 

The survey of 2,000 motorists found more than a quarter of impatient drivers have pulled away with more than half of their windscreens obscured by ice, limiting visibility and risking lives on the road.

The most common reason for failing to clear the windscreen is lateness, while 14% say they find ice melts faster from the windscreen using the heat of the engine while driving.

But it’s not just the windscreen you should be clearing. As many as 42% admit they only wait for their windscreen to clear rather than all the car’s windows, mirrors and lights, which are also essential for full visibility.

Some 59% of those likely to drive with restricted vision are aged between 25 and 34.

Mark Newberry, Commercial Director at Green Flag, has warned of the increased dangers of driving with limited vision.

He 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.”

Data from the Department for Transport (DfT) suggests up to 29 fatalities and more than 2,500 injuries can be put down to snow and ice every winter on British roads.

Winter driving

Driving with your windscreen either misted up or still covered in ice could cost you a £60 fine and three penalty points.

Experts are urging drivers to take extra care in icy conditions and to carry out all the necessary car checks to keep them safe on winter roads.

Newberry said: “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.”

Is your car ready for winter? Use our complete guide to winter driving for some top tips and essential car checks before you brave the ice.