With Met Éireann predicting snowfall and icy conditions in the coming days, new research has found that nearly 3 in 4 Irish drivers do not feel confident driving in poor weather conditions.

The new research suggests nearly three in four Irish drivers (74%) do not feel confident when driving in poor weather conditions.

Conducted by RED C Research among 724 drivers, the survey found that ice on the roads and snow have the strongest negative impact on confidence amongst drivers: less than half (43%) of all drivers are confident driving in snow, while just over a third (35%) feel confident operating their vehicle with ice on the roads.

The research found confidence levels when driving in such conditions to be lowest among young drivers, females and those living in Munster.

The research also found that young and recently qualified drivers are most nervous when driving in adverse weather conditions.

80% of drivers under the age of 30 are not confident driving in bad weather, and only 15% of newly qualified drivers feel very prepared to drive in inclement weather following the successful completion of their driving test.  More than three in five drivers (62%) have felt nervous as a result of driving in bad weather.

Commenting on the research, Deirdre Ashe, Director of Personal Lines at Liberty Insurance, said: “Our research reveals that as a country, we currently lack confidence in our driving abilities in adverse weather conditions.

“This nervousness in driving in poor weather becomes all the more concerning in light of the anticipated freezing weather conditions later in the week.  The Met Office is predicting temperatures to fall to between -2C and 1C from Thursday onward.

“This means icy roads, particularly in the north and west of the country.  We are therefore calling on all drivers to be aware of their surroundings especially in adverse or wintry weather conditions and exercise their best judgement when travelling.

“In 2016, we saw 187 deaths on Irish roads. Nearly half occurred on regional or local roads.  It is important for us all to reflect on why we are still seeing this happen, to take stock of our own driving behaviour, and to consider what more can be done to make our roads safer for all road users.

“This means drivers being more cautious when driving in poor weather conditions. Before driving in poor weather, check your tyre pressure and tyre treads.  Ensure all lights are working and that you have sufficient levels of anti-freeze coolant and screen wash in the car.  Once on the road, in case of poor visibility, allow additional space between you and the vehicle in front of you, avoid overtaking, and remain extra vigilant for cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians.”

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