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Are you clearing your screen before driving?

A third of us are driving with poor visibility

Man driving with frozen windscreen

37% of us are driving with limited visibility

One of the major irritants of winter motoring is defrosting the car. Whether it’s frenzied attacks on your windows with de-icer and scrapers, or simply sitting in the car with the engine running, waiting for the heated screens and demister to melt the ice off the glass.

But it appears that not all of us are clearing our screens completely, with a recent survey finding 37% of motorists are driving with poor visibility.

Read all of our driving advice

More than a third of drivers break the law

The survey, conducted by accident management company Accident Exchange, monitored 1,107 cars between 24 and 26 November 2010 at rush hour times to see how many were driving with poor visibility.

Out of all of the cars surveyed, 409 had poor window visibility in either the windscreen or rear window.

Even more concerning, 29% of drivers were driving – during peak times – with poor visibility out of both the front and the rear windows.

Car with frozen windscreen

It’s illegal to drive without clearing windows

By not clearing your windows adequately, you are breaking rule 229 of the Highway Code, which clearly states: ‘Before you set off you must be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all your windows and make sure the mirrors are clear and the windows are demisted thoroughly’.

Get advice on how to prepare for winter driving

Preparing your car in winter is essential

Driving with limited visibility will not only put you at risk, but other drivers and road users, too.

With road conditions at their worst, you need to have 100% visibility to be able to read the road and identify areas of heavy snow, water or ice.

Which? offers advice on driving your car in the winter, including how to clear your windows safely and properly, plus checks you should carry out to make sure visibility is at its best for you and other drivers.

Read more driving in snow advice


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