One in four drivers admit they "do nothing" to prepare for winter weather and dangerous driving conditions, while 40% cut corners and take to the roads without even being able to fully see through their windscreen.
Despite the Met Office and RAC recommending drivers make special provisions for winter driving, researchers found that less than a third carry out important safety checks and services on brakes, tyres, cooling systems and oil.
The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for snow for this evening, with up to 10cm falling in upland parts of the North East, and wintry showers lower-lying areas.
The agency is warning of a risk of disruption to transport services, and urging drivers to take precautions - particularly with cross-Pennine routes set to be hit by snow.
But a survey of 1,000 drivers for Asda has shown that many are 'skating on thin ice' when it comes to safety in winter.
The survey showed that just a quarter use antifreeze in the cooling system, while a third don't top up screenwash to combat dirt and rain.
Only one in seven (14 per cent) will check oil levels and change, while more than four out of five (82 per cent) set off on a long journey without checking their battery.
Just six per cent change to winter tyres, while less than a third of drivers will check their brakes are working properly.
Less than four out of 10 (38 per cent) will test their front and rear lights, while 26 per cent admit they "do nothing" to prepare their car for winter.
Shockingly, many motorists claim they don't have time to fully defrost their car with 39 per cent admitting they will "drive with ice or steam on the windscreen" resulting in poor visibility.
But the study did show that five out of six drivers (83 per cent) keep an ice scraper in their car.
Chris Carden, Asda's weather expert, said: "Winter weather can be a testing and dangerous time for drivers if the proper precautions aren't in place.
"We want to ensure that our customers can stock up on everything they need to stay ahead of the cold weather. A few small changes and a bit of preparation can make all the difference."
Safety Necessities Brits Carry In Their Car:
1. Ice scraper (83%)
2. De-icer (77%)
3. Torch (53%)
4. Blanket (43%)
5. Shovel (31%)
6. Bottled water (29%)
7. Antifreeze (27%)
8. Phone charger (26%)
9. Emergency food supplies (14%)