| 14.3°C Dublin

Women more nervous driving in icy conditions, says survey

Close

A car stuck in a ditch after sliding off an icy road in Ballymote, Co Sligo, yesterday. Photo: James Connolly

A car stuck in a ditch after sliding off an icy road in Ballymote, Co Sligo, yesterday. Photo: James Connolly

A car stuck in a ditch after sliding off an icy road in Ballymote, Co Sligo, yesterday. Photo: James Connolly

Women are more likely to feel nervous when driving in icy conditions.

A survey of almost 10,000 people says that 90pc of women, compared with 66pc of men, are anxious driving in sub-zero temperatures - but most are more fearful of what other motorists might do than in their own driving abilities.

The survey comes as Met Eireann warns that today will be very windy, with heavy rain turning to sleet or snow in northern counties. Tomorrow promises to be cold, with gusts of strong winds and snow and icy patches expected at night.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has warned motorists to take extra care due to the weather conditions, while the AA said its rescue fleet was busiest when the mercury falls below zero.

The survey, which was conducted online, found that of those drivers who reported feeling daunted by driving during freezing spells, the majority revealed it was the unpredictable behaviour of other motorists which made them feel uncomfortable.

One AA member shared that their car was shunted off the roads during icy conditions when the driver to their rear braked too severely for the conditions, skidding into their tail.

The survey also found that just over half of men questioned (51pc) admitted that they had lost control of their vehicle. This compares with 40pc of women.

It also noted that women appeared to learn from past bad experiences. More than one in five (21pc) said they would avoid driving in hazardous conditions after experiencing a bad scare on the roads. This compared with just one in nine men.

Surprisingly, despite experiencing some of the most challenging driving conditions in the country, Wicklow drivers were the least likely to experience a near miss or collision when driving on icy roads.

The AA said while it is frequently tasked to drivers around Roundwood, the Sally Gap and the Wicklow Gap during cold snaps, most of its call-outs were from drivers living outside the county who had underestimated the driving conditions.

The survey also asked drivers what their least favourite driving conditions were.

It found that most motorists least liked driving in icy conditions, followed by fog and heavy rain - some 30pc are worried about driving in sub-zero conditions, compared with 11pc for fog and 6pc for torrential rain.

The survey shows that half or more of all drivers in 14 counties have experienced a near miss.

The highest rate is in Monaghan, at 57pc, followed by Sligo at 56pc.

The lowest number is in Wicklow at 42pc, followed by Dublin at 43pc.

Irish Independent