Spiders. The Most Unwanted Driving Companion?

Last year the typically British wet summer was responsible for a rise in the number of spiders seeking shelter in homes, garages, and sheds.

With a mixed weather picture over the past few months, what can we expect this year?

Well, according to media reports some of them could be as ‘big as mice’, with one expert explaining that the 8-legged arthropods have actually been hiding in our homes all summer.

“The male spiders come out the woodwork during this time of year as it is breeding season and they are searching for female spiders,” explained Steve McGrail, from Pro-Kill Environmental.

While most are likely to be found between boxes in cellars, behind cupboards and under sofas, it appears that even our cars are hunting ground for these 8-legged arthropods.

This news may have arachnophobics reach for the bug spray and perhaps with good reason for there are well documented cases of those who have taken evasive action toward this most unwanted driving companion. In 2010 a driver who threw a spider out of her car window crashed into a man on a charity bike ride and last year a car crashed into a lamp post in Poole, Dorset, after the driver became distracted by a spider.

And in Australia recently a driver watched as her car rolled into the water after she acted quickly to avoid contact with a spider. The 18 year old jumped out of her vehicle after a large huntsman spider dropped through the roof of her Volkswagen, but didn’t pull the handbrake before making her exit.

While the Department for Transport doesn't list separate figures for road accidents prompted by arachnids, overall in 2015 official figures show that distractions of all kinds inside vehicles had been listed as a cause of 445 serious accidents.

"You need to stop the car and deal with the issue," says Neil Greig, policy and research director at the Institute of Advanced Motorists. "Continuing to drive with that kind of distraction is a bad idea."

By Tracey McBain