Winter Driving Tips

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Tags: winter driving tips, classic car

As the clocks go back, heralding darker evenings and the imminent arrival of wintry weather conditions, leading insurance broker, Footman James is offering tips to motorists on how to avoid winter driving claims.

Andy Fairchild, Managing Director of Footman James said: “There is always a surge in road accident numbers during the first week that the clocks go back, as people have to drive home in the dark. Last year, we saw 50 per cent more claims on the Monday that the clocks went back, than the Monday beforehand.

“Luckily, most accidents do not result in injuries, but they are nonetheless time-consuming and will lead to increases in motor insurance premiums.

“We are offering the following simple tips to the thousands of drivers who will now have to face their daily commute in tougher driving conditions as the winter weather sets in.” 

              Winter driving tips

Before you leave home:

• Make sure you have all the accident and breakdown telephone numbers either in your car, or stored in your mobile phone;
• Make sure your mobile phone battery is fully charged and that you have other essential emergency equipment, such as warm clothes, a shovel, torch, first aid kit, spare tyre and ‘jump leads’;
• While under inflated tyres can cause handling problems, over inflated tyres are just as much of a hazard on icy roads;
• Check the windscreen washer fluid and, when topping up, use screenwash rather than tap water, which will freeze;
• Make sure your wipers are in excellent working order;
• Allow a few extra minutes in the morning to de-ice and de-mist fully before hitting the roads;
• Make sure your headlights are clean.

Once on the roads:

• Try to stick to trunk and main roads which are more likely to have been gritted;
• It can take ten times longer to stop in icy conditions than on a dry road, so drive slowly, allowing extra room to slow down and stop;
• Avoid harsh braking and acceleration;
• To brake on ice and snow without locking your wheels, move into a low gear earlier than normal, allow your speed to fall and use the brake pedal gently;
• If you do start to skid, ease off the accelerator but do not brake suddenly;
• When it is snowing, raining and murky – even if it is the middle of the day – always use dipped headlights, not sidelights, so that you can be seen by other road users.