With Britain having experienced thee harsh winters in a row, you'd think that motorists would be well prepared for any impending cold snaps.

Not according to Churchill. Us motorists, says the firm, are failing to say 'oh yes!' (sorry) when it comes to carrying out sensible wintry precautions.

Of those who drive regularly during the winter months (around half the year in Britain, at our best guesses...) 25 per cent refuse to increase the space between them and the vehicle in front.

Similarly, 24 per cent don't take corners at slower speeds - perhaps explaining why we see so many motorists stuck head-first in bushes when things get icy.

26 per cent don't allow any extra time to get to their destinations, either - meaning that they're then forced to drive too fast for the conditions.

Perhaps most worryingly - if unsurprisingly - is the proportion who set off without defrosting their windscreens.

44 per cent admitted to doing so, effectively meaning that nearly half of all road users could be driving around blind.

The survey comes shortly after Highways Agency research showed 49 per cent of all drivers simply ignore severe weather warnings.

29 per cent, said the survey, don't prepare their cars for the winter either - "potentially putting themselves and others at risk".

"Drivers need to make sure they and their vehicles are ready for severe weather. Vehicles are much more prone to break down as temperatures plummet and a routine incident or breakdown can become much more serious in severe weather," said roads minister Stephen Hammond.

"It's important drivers take a few minutes to check their vehicles, plan their journeys, check the weather forecast and carry an emergency kit. In the most severe weather, they should even consider whether their journey is really necessary before they set out."

The Institute of Advanced Motorists also weighed in, telling the Press Association: "Now is the time to start thinking about how to adapt your driving to the wintry weather, so that when conditions become dangerously slippery you are ready to react safely.

"When the roads are icy the best advice is to drive as if you're walking on eggshells. Be prepared for the worst – icy conditions can affect accelerating, steering and braking. Being mentally prepared as well as having the right equipment is vital, so think about any problems you encountered last winter, and what you need to do to overcome them if they recur this year."