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Extra care needed on wintery roads

17 January 2017

Insure The Box, global pioneers of telematics-based car insurance, is urging young drivers to take extra care in the challenging winter conditions.  This comes as Insure The Box analysis reveals that accidents increase by 20% amongst drivers[2] during the winter months.

Simon Rewell, Road Safety Manager for Insure The Box says, “Driving in winter presents motorists with much more challenging road conditions. The darker, shorter days, coupled with increased chance of ice and snow increases risk for all road users. In addition, clear and sunny winter days often result in strong glare, which can be blinding for road users driving into the sun.  Young, inexperienced drivers are particularly vulnerable as hazardous conditions will be a completely new experience. Therefore they, and all drivers, should take extra care to ensure their safety whilst driving this winter as well as considering whether or not it is necessary to drive at all – it really is better to be safe than sorry.”

Around 700,000 motorists pass their practical driving test each year[3] and for many driving in the harsher winter weather conditions will be a first. Insure The Box has therefore, compiled some top tips for safe driving in the winter months.

Top tips are:

  • Check the weather forecast before driving anywhere; unless the journey is absolutely necessary it could be safer to stay home.
  • Vehicle maintenance is essential.  Ensure tyres are in good condition and contain enough air.
  • Ensure that your windscreens, mirrors and lights are clean and clear before starting your journey.
  • Make sure to check the antifreeze in your car is topped up.
  • Drive to the conditions - reduce your speed and keep an appropriate distance from vehicles in front to enable you to manoeuvre should you experience a slide or skid.
  • Use dipped headlights as visibility is much lower, including during daylight hours if neccessary.
  • Avoid harsh braking, accelerating or steering.
  • If you get stuck in snow gently move your vehicle backwards and forwards using the highest gear you can.
  • Keep your vehicle well ventilated – too warm and you will start to feel drowsy which will impact your ability to drive safely.
  • Keep a coat or blanket in the boot of the car along with a shovel and torch just in case you get stuck in bad weather.
  • If you are dazzled by bright sunlight, slow down and if necessary, stop.
  • Keep a spare pair of sunglasses in your car. They can help if you get glare in your eyes, disrupting your vision.

For further guidance on driving in the ice and snow please click here.

 

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