Millions of Brits are risking their safety and their bank balance by driving with their windscreen iced up in wintry conditions, according to Halfords Autocentres.
The dark, wet and cold months can be the most treacherous on the road – with motorists more likely to be caught off-guard by the unpredictable conditions.
And a survey of 2,000 motorists found 35 per cent admitted to driving off with their windscreen either misted up or still covered in ice over the past 12 months – an offence punishable by a £60 fine and three penalty points.
One quarter of those polled said they had put their car at high risk of theft by leaving the engine running and popping back inside while the windscreen clears.
Around 16 per cent have reversed their car despite having zero rear visibility while 14 per cent have risked mechanical damage by over-revving a cold engine.
It also emerged more than a fifth have risked cracking the windscreen by de-icing it with warm or hot water while a quarter have driven with snow on the roof, which could potentially cover the windscreen after braking.
The survey was carried out as Britain’s unpredictable weather continues to cause issues on the roads and the first real cold spells grip the country.