Drivers fail to get a grip with snow and ice


Snow’s a slippery customer for British drivers who seem to have no idea of how to cope with even the lightest dusting of the white stuff.

The proof is how much car insurance claims increase every time the winter weather takes a change for the worst.

For example, just one insurer – The AA – has released figures showing how flaky drivers are in the snow.

A staggering 8,400 cars were damaged in collisions between January 18 and January 22 – that’s more than one accident a minute for five days in a row.

It’s undeniable that real risks lurk in snow and ice for motorists who take to the roads in winter conditions, but is it really that bad?

The AA said the accidents will cost around £4.2 million. The insurer received 36% more claims in those five days than the same period a week earlier. Saturday, January 19 was the worst day, with 54% of claims blamed on bad weather.

But even those who abandoned their cars were not immune: 10% of claims were for damage to parked cars.

Best of all are some of the reasons behind the claims, with comments like:

“My car slid down the hill on its roof.”

“While I was exchanging insurance details two more cars crashed into mine.”

“I thought the pond was the road!”

Bank and insurer Santander revealed that men are more likely to be involved in a winter weather accident than women, but only 16% said they are not confident when driving in snow or ice. The conclusion was that refusing to change driving style when tackling difficult conditions causes the rise in accidents.

After all, other countries have bad weather – like Canada and Sweden where the temperatures drop off the charts. In these places, people have proper winter clothing, snow boots and cars with winter tyres and snow chains.

Perhaps better preparation for driving in snow and ice would solve Britain’s wintry problems.

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