One in four British workers has used snow or poor winter weather as an excuse to skive off work, it emerged today.
A study of 2,000 drivers also found that four out of ten road users will miss one or more days of work every year because of difficult driving conditions.
Around the same number have already come unstuck on winter roads, with 16 per cent having had an accident and 23 per cent having abandoned their cars.
A further 46 per cent have had a near miss on ice and snow, prompting 39 per cent to say they can feel unsafe driving in the winter months – with January rated as the worst month to drive.
Laura Hardy, safety expert at Continental Tyres which carried out the study, said: “It is important to think about road and weather conditions and plan accordingly.
”If the advice is not to travel other than for emergencies, then that advice needs to be heeded.
”If you are driving in poor weather preparation is key – allow more time and make a few simple checks like tyre tread depth, screen wash levels and monitor the conditions on your entire route.
“It is alarming that with all the advice available 12 per cent of us do not consider increased stopping distances, 59 per cent fail to adequately top up fluid levels and only four in ten check their tyres more frequently in winter.”
It also emerged three in ten Brits will drive even when adverse weather warnings suggest it should be avoided.
Sixty eight 68 per cent claim a work-related reason for venturing out – like an important meeting or the fear of losing their job.
Nearly six in ten have failed to show for a social event or night out because they were concerned about driving in bad weather.
Country roads are most likely to be avoided by motorists when snow and ice are a risk with 45 per cent steering clear.
Motorways are avoided by one in five, and 15 per cent avoid dual carriageways. Around a third claim they do not avoid any roads due to wintery weather.
Laura Hardy of Continental Tyres continued: ”Every year millions of motorists get caught out when we know there will be periods when driving will be more hazardous.
”More and more UK motorists are turning to winter tyres to improve their safety on the roads during the winter months but we are still a long way from European countries where changing tyres to suit the conditions is routine. Winter tyres are now commonly available in the UK and we need to get the word out.”