Drivers urged to check festive reports
British motorists will forget to check weather or traffic reports before driving home for Christmas this week, according to new research.
Halfords Autocentres claimed that 59% of drivers in the UK ignore traffic updates, while a further 36% get behind the wheel without checking how the weather may affect driving conditions.
One in four (25%) motorists encountered some form of yuletide snag before embarking on road trips to see family and friends over the festive period, with 24% of those experiencing a flat battery and 25% left stranded at the roadside some way into their journey.
Nearly a fifth (18%) of all drivers fail to conduct any vehicle checks, such as checking for tyre pressure or oil levels, despite drive belts and batteries coming under increasing pressure during the winter months.
Rory Carlin, Halfords Autocentres marketing director, claimed that some British motorists are "not adapting to cope" with harsher winters, while also contributing towards traffic jams at peak times, such as Christmas and New Year.
Mr Carlin said: "A change in behaviour - particularly over peak travel times during the festive period - has the potential to significantly reduce traffic jams and unnecessary breakdowns."
Edward Smith from meteorological consultancy Weather Edge said many drivers could be "caught out over the festive period" by not checking weather forecasts prior to departure.
"The importance of checking travel reports before setting off can't be emphasised enough," said Mr Smith. "I also urge the 67% of drivers that admit to not telling friends and family of their intended route to do so in case of an emergency."
published: 17/12/2012 17:00:00