More than a third of motorists do not feel prepared for winter driving this year, research has revealed.
A survey of 6,000 European drivers found 27 percent don’t understand or use their cars’ additional safety features when the weather turns sour.
As the clocks fall back, signalling shorter days and the inevitable deterioration in weather, drivers will find themselves spending more time behind the wheel in the dark.
And this presents a worrying challenge for the 55 percent of drivers who are nervous about driving in winter – and the 45 percent who wish they had been taught how to drive properly in adverse weather.
The research was commissioned by Nissan, which has equipped its all-new Sunderland-built Qashqai crossover with numerous advanced safety technologies, to help drivers cope with tough driving conditions.
Marco Fioravanti, of Nissan Europe, said: "We know this time of year often brings insecure feelings, and the data shows 55 percent of European drivers have cancelled or postponed a journey due to bad weather.
"We have equipped the all-new Qashqai with easy-to-use technology which allows drivers to focus on the road ahead and feel reassured knowing the vehicle will support them in challenging conditions."
The study also found that while more than half are nervous about driving during the darker months, many aren’t helping themselves – or others – with 52 percent not waiting until their windscreen is fully demisted before starting their journey.
Three-quarters do not feel completely confident about how to bring a skid to a stop on icy roads, and 63 percent are unsure what tyres to use when it’s snowing or the correct stopping distance in wet weather.
Fewer than half (49 percent) of drivers feel completely confident about how to adapt their headlights to the road condition, such as turning on side lights for dusk or full beams when dark.
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In snowy or rainy weather, braking distances increase, so speed should be adjusted, but two-thirds of European drivers do not check their brakes for driving in winter.
And the research, carried out through OnePoll, also found more than a third (37 percent) do not tend to drive more slowly in the winter.
This, combined with a lack of awareness on how to adjust stopping distance in icy conditions, is cause for concern, as 30 percent think the stopping distance is up to three times further, compared to the recommended ten times further distance.
Following the findings, Nissan, has created this interactive quiz, where motorists can find out how safe a winter driver they are.
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