13/11/2007

Women Motorists 'More Prepared' For Bad Weather

Women drivers are more likely to get caught out by severe weather, according to new research published by the Highways Agency.

A survey of nearly 1,300 road users showed that women were less likely than men to make a journey by car after hearing a severe weather warning. Only 44% of women said that they would continue, compared with 62% of men.

The survey also found that only 40% of over-65s would continue their journey, while 65% of 18-24s would.

A third of respondents also admitted that they would not check their vehicle or their route before setting out.

However, the Highways Agency said that it was "concerned" that just over half of all those interviewed (53%) said that they would continue with their journey regardless of a severe weather warning.

The publication of the findings coincided with the launch of a new campaign on safe driving in severe weather, which reminds drivers not to be complacent despite the recent mild weather.

Launching the campaign, the Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick, said: "The recent mild weather brings a risk that drivers could be lulled into a false sense of security. So, the Highways Agency is offering a timely reminder to road users to plan their journeys and listen out for weather warnings.

"The British winter is not just about ice and snow. As we have seen this year, heavy rain, strong winds and fog are as much a part of the British climate and they can make driving hazardous.

"The Highways Agency is working in partnership with the Met Office and others to give up-to-date information about road and weather conditions for England's motorways and major A roads.

"So make sure you and your vehicle are ready for winter. The last thing you want is to be stuck on a cold, wet or windy motorway hard shoulder. If bad weather arrives, slow down and adapt your driving to suit the conditions. Keep up to date by listening to the travel news while you are on the road, and if conditions get too bad, find a safe place to break your journey until the weather improves."

(KMcA)


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