Drivers across the UK have been warned about the danger that can come from failing to properly scrape and defrost their windows in the morning before setting off. This advice is important at this time of year when drivers are typically waking up to frosty conditions and frozen windscreens.
According to a report published by the AA, motorists who were on the road looking through a slit in the snow or ice – or dirt – on their windscreens contributed directly to 22 fatal or serious injuries in 2013.
It said that, in the same year, 19 people died and 253 people were injured in incidents where road users couldn't see properly in rain, sleet, snow or fog.
Edmund King, the AA's president, said: "Your car windscreen is not an optional extra yet some drivers seem to treat it like one. Particularly in winter our patrols report numerous cases of drivers peering through frosted, frozen or filthy windscreens.
In the past few weeks, British drivers have faced freezing early morning conditions, with windscreens frosted over, and for some, the temptation will be there when they're in a hurry to simply scrape a little bit off the window before setting off.
Clearly this is one of the most common causes of accidents, however, and drivers should be making sure that they spend time properly clearing the whole windscreen so they can see all of the road, even if they're in a hurry.
Another issue that can affect visibility in winter is the amount of dirt that gets kicked up by other cars. This can coat the windscreen quickly, leaving drivers with reduced visibility that can cause real problems and increase the risk of accidents.
For this reason, it's vital that drivers regularly check the health of their windscreen wiper blades. When these are split or worn, they won't clean the windows properly, and this can make it very hard to see. If your wiper blades are in a poor state of repair, book an appointment to have new wiper blades fitted as soon as possible.
Posted by Danielle Barge