British drivers buy products to prepare their cars for winter weather but the majority do not know how to drive safely in the rain, according to a new survey that has been carried out ahead of Road Safety Week (10-16 November).
Only 4% of drivers leave a safe distance between themselves and the car in front when they are driving in rain, putting themselves and other drivers at risk. Despite the acknowledgement that winter brings treacherous driving, most Britons prepare for fog and snow but fail to recognise the dangerous driving conditions that rain can cause.
Out of 973 people questioned, 98% said they drive slower in heavy rain or snow and 75% would pull over if the weather affected their vision. However, a typical British rain shower can cause hazardous driving conditions and a wet road requires a stopping distance of 144 metres when driving at 60mph.
With rain falling on one in three days throughout the year in England, the survey results are worrying for Brake, the road safety charity that campaigns for safer driving. Katie Shephard from Brake said: “This survey shows that people prepare themselves and their cars for driving in the bad weather conditions we can experience in winter months, like sleet and snow. However as we all know it rains throughout the year in Britain and this can cause equally treacherous conditions on our roads.
“It is important that drivers understand and practise the safe stopping distance whatever the weather or time of year. The weather doesn’t have to be extreme to have an adverse affect on how your car will perform on the road.
“More than 3,172 people were killed on our roads last year and a further 28,673 were seriously injured. Knowing and observing the correct stopping distance could save yours or someone else’s life.”
The survey was commissioned by Shell Car Care International Ltd, marketer of Rain-X car care products including Rain-X Rain Repellent – a unique formula that repels rain, sleet and snow giving drivers better visibility for safer driving in poor weather. Shell Car Care International has teamed up with Brake to remind drivers of the importance of safe driving in the run-up to Brake’s Road Safety Week which takes place between 10 -16 November.
Survey results include:
• 80% of British drivers buy products to prepare their cars for winter weather
• 39% of drivers get up at least 10 minutes early to check and prepare their car in winter
• 27% prepare for bad weather with emergency breakdown items such as blankets and shovels
• 54% cancel plans to go out if the weather is bad
The results also show that men take a more cavalier approach than women to safer driving:
• 31% of women stock up on emergency breakdown items compared to 23% of men
• 81% of women pull over if their vision is poor compared to 69% of men
• 60% of women cancel plans to go out if the weather is bad compared to 48% of men
Jane Kendall from Shell Car Care International said: “We partnered with Brake because we take road safety very seriously. Our car care products aid visibility during wet weather by providing a slick barrier that helps to repel rain, sleet and snow. Studies have shown* that Rain-X Rain Repellent can help drivers recognise objects 1 second earlier, which could equal 27 metres of stopping distance when driving at 60mph.
“All drivers should be aware of stopping distances and how these vary according to the driving conditions. I hope the survey results will highlight just how important this crucial piece of road safety advice is to saving lives on our roads not just in winter but throughout the year.”
Go to www.rainx.co.uk for more information about Rain-X car care products available this Christmas.
Notes to editors:
Rain-X products are marketed in the UK by Shell Car Care International Ltd.
Shell Car Care International is a member of the Shell Group companies engaged in the lubricants business. Shell lubricants companies are global leaders in finished lubricants and operate in approximately 120 countries worldwide.
How Rain-X Rain Repellent works
Rain-X Rain Repellent penetrates and seals the microscopic pores of the glass with a super-slick invisible barrier that helps to repel rain, sleet and snow on contact. The hydrophobic formula works with the natural airflow over the car to disperse rain-drops from the windscreen
*The 1 Second Advantage – Scientific studies at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute have shown that Rain-X Rain Repellent allows drivers to recognise objects 1 second earlier.
Brake is a road safety charity (registered charity no 1093244) with two aims - preventing road crashes through education and campaigns, and supporting people bereaved or seriously injured in road crashes. Brake’s ‘Pledge To Drive Safely’ can be found at www.brake.org.uk
For further information about Rain-X and its product range, please click onto www.rainx.co.uk
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