With the end to British Summer Time (BST) on Sunday 28 October heralding the start of winter driving, a new survey* of young drivers by Marmalade reveals the extent of their fears over driving in the winter months, with 39% claiming bad weather conditions as their number one concern.

Almost 20% of those who have recently passed their driving test say they actively avoid getting behind the wheel at all when the winter conditions kick in. A further 40% look up advice online before venturing out, which can be useful, but isn’t the same as practical driving experience.

Marmalade Director Adam Moger comments: “The end of BST signals months of driving in colder temperatures, wetter conditions and darkness. For those young people who have learned to drive and passed their tests in the warmer months, it could be their first experience of driving in the dark or in poor conditions.

“It’s a time that presents motorists with new hazards such as poor visibility and slippery road surfaces” continues Moger, “and one that demands specific practice. We recommend that, whether young people are learners or have qualified as drivers recently, their parents take the opportunity to give them a few extra guided sessions – themselves or with an instructor – specifically looking at how to handle difficult conditions. The Pass Plus scheme may be useful if parents aren’t confident themselves.”

Preparing a car for winter weather is also essential and something that any older driver can help young people with.

Adam Moger concludes: “Marmalade works proactively with young drivers, harnessing telematics data to help them improve their driving skills** on an individual basis. Nervous drivers may react poorly under pressure, so we urge parents and carers to help their young people prepare, and to ensure that they maintain their all-important independence even through the bad weather.”

National data suggests that all drivers are at risk in the winter months. Reported accidents by daylight and darkness in Great Britain in 2017 highlighted a 40% hike in the number of accidents during darkness (170,993), compared to the those occurring in daylight hours (120,925).

Statistics from The Department of Transport also highlight seasonal peaks in car users having more accidents during the colder months last year, with November (the month following BST ending) showing the highest number of car accidents (8,657) and deaths (85).

Top five tips for young drivers preparing for the winter months:

Allow extra time – Drivers in a rush are more likely to make irrational and unsafe decisions. You may also require time to de-ice your car before starting your journey.

Know your lights – Test yourself on your full beams, fog lights and dimmed lights to ensure you know what to do if required when out and about.

Be aware – Many young drivers may not have experience in driving in icy conditions, it is essential to be aware of the hazards so check conditions before heading out.

Stick with what you know – Confidence is important when heading out in hazardous conditions. If you must head somewhere new, take a friend or family member along that can help.

Consider Pass Plus – Pass Plus can help with those who lack confidence. It covers driving at night, on the motorway and on rural roads to ensure you are fully equipped, 

The clocks will be set back one hour at 2am on Sunday 28th October to switch from BST to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

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