A RECENT survey has revealed that Scottish motorists are more likely to keep mints in their car than useful breakdown equipment.
According to the study from NFU Mutual, just 14% of Scots are adequately prepared for a breakdown in Winter, with most drivers overlooking key items such as warm clothes and blankets.
The research comes after more than 1,500 UK car owners were asked about their ability to cope with a breakdown as temperatures drop.
The survey also found that a concerning number of Scottish drivers are more likely to carry an umbrella than basic emergency safety equipment.
Shockingly, the research showed only 14% of car owners in Scotland keep a warm blanket or warm clothes handy, putting themselves and their families at risk of hypothermia if breaking down in freezing Scottish weather.
While two in five (40%) of Scottish car owners always keep an umbrella in their car, they are also more likely to keep chewing gum and mints in their vehicle than safety items such as red reflective warning triangles, high visibility jackets or jump leads.
The research showed that women across the UK are particularly vulnerable, as they are less likely than men to keep most safety items in their car.
Aleks Corr, Motor Insurance Specialist at NFU Mutual, said: “It’s great that the majority of drivers have a rescue service in place, with a whopping 70% of Scottish car owners choosing to have breakdown cover.
“But when you scratch under the surface, drivers are unprepared for the call-out itself, which is a particular risk in the dark, cold weather and even more so if breaking down on isolated and unlit rural roads.
“While brollies might be among the essentials for daily Scottish life, don’t forget the safety fundamentals such as a torch, blanket and a spare tyre to prepare for a breakdown. Keeping basic safety equipment in your car could spell the difference between a minor inconvenience and a traumatically freezing and potentially hazardous family event.
“While technology can be a real lifeline, don’t completely rely on it. Poor signal or a low battery may mean it lets you down when you need it most. Always keep an in-car charger handy, but also equip yourself with analogue alternatives including a road atlas and your breakdown service number written on a piece of paper.
“Familiarise yourself with safety tips and what to do in an incident, such as how to park safely or how to find an SOS phone on the motorway.
“With NFU Mutual, RAC Mutual Assist breakdown cover comes as part of our car policy as standard, so you don’t need to worry about it.
“We’re also a Which? Recommended Provider for Car Insurance and our cover is rated 5 star by independent research company, Defaqto.”