12/12/2012 (press release: OnlinePR) // UK // Simmie Korotane
Almost one in three (28%) drivers risk serious accidents by not bothering to fully clear ice off windscreens.
Many motorists are setting off on journeys with “porthole vision” after scrapping off only a small circle of ice.
A new study from Halfords reveals the average car owner spends just under four minutes with the heater on to clear ice from their windscreens, whereas a minimum of ten minutes is recommended.
5% – the equivalent of 600,000 nationally -admit they have narrowly missed a pedestrian or another road user because their vision was impaired by ice covering the windscreen.
The Halfords research comes as police have launched a crackdown on ice covered cars and are warning motorists they risk three points on the licence and a fine of up to £1000 if they cannot see properly.
The study reveals the variety of objects motorists use to clear their windscreens, many of which can cause scratches to the glass. One in five, 21%, pour on boiling water to defrost the windscreen risking cracking the glass, 9% used a DVD or CD to scrape off the ice, while 12% will turn to a credit card. Some 3% said they have used a knife and one respondent used a shoe.
Rory Carlin, from Halfords Autocentres said “We would recommend at least ten minutes to clear the windscreen throughout. You can use a scraper or a de-icer. Ten minutes is not a long time when the consequences of not clearing the windscreen properly can be disastrous for all road users and can lead to a fine.”
The practice of driving off with a partially covered ice windscreen has been slated by drivers using the motoring web site “pistonheads”. Site member J4ACO reported being narrowly missed by a lady driver in a Golf Gti speeding along a country road with an “almost opaque windscreen””.
Fellow member Big Fat Fatty told how another VW pulled onto a busy road into fast moving traffic almost blind “Is it really too much trouble to go out a bit earlier and clear them before getting out on the road?”, he protests
Halfords said motorists were taking heed of warnings as the Big Freeze hit the country and were stocking up on winter car products.
The biggest seller was de-icer, especially the new generation of de-icers which are applied the night before and leave vehicle wind-screens frost free in the morning. Demand was also strong for anti-freeze, winter screen-wash, windscreen car cover and ice-scrapers as well as salt to keep driveways and paths safe and shoe-grips to stop slips on ice and snow was also up.
Car owners were also preparing to survive the sub-zero temperatures by taking advantage of Halfords Autocentres’ 11 point winter check service. The biting temperatures follow the heavy rain which swept the country in recent weeks making checks on the car more important than ever.
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With over 240 centres nationwide, Halfords Autocentres is the UK’s leading independent car servicing, repair, tyre and MOT network. Now part of the Halfords group, our name may be new, but our centres have been a feature of the towns and cities of Britain for a decade or more.
Halfords Autocentres provides dealership quality work at affordable prices to around 650,000 customers every year, with over 8 out of 10 saying that they would recommend us to a friend. Our expert service is backed with both a quality and price guarantee: work is guaranteed for 12 months or 12,000 miles, and we promise to match any price quoted locally like for like.
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