On Thin Ice… Top Tips for Car Owners This Winter
We know all too well the dangers weather can pose to driving, with the Midlands experiencing some of its heaviest snowfall for years in recent days. Severe weather warnings have been widespread, with hundreds of schools and businesses closed, flights cancelled and the region’s roads in chaos.
As drivers brave the snow and ice, the threat of accidents has been high and the cold weather is set to continue into the New Year. Here, Managing Director at Russell Scanlan, Bryan Banbury, shares some top tips to help you deal with the extreme winter weather and minimise your risk whilst driving.
Ensuring your car is prepared for the wintery conditions is key to avoiding having to claim on your insurance, should the worst happen. Many people are also unaware of the penalties that can come with not taking the right precautions – for example, leaving snow on the roof on your car can result in a £60 fine and 3 points on your licence, so always ensure snow and ice is fully cleared.
Good air pressure and at least 3mm tread on your tyres will help prevent your car from getting stuck in the snow and it goes without saying, the best chance of staying safe in extreme weather conditions is to listen out for weather warnings, allow longer travel times and avoid particularly treacherous areas!
The cold weather can bring other, less obvious risks – on average 66,000 cars are stolen each year by opportunistic thieves, from people who leave their cars unlocked and engines running to defrost them. This is a shocking figure and something more than 40% of us do on a regular basis to warm up our vehicles. Thefts like this are easily avoided – use a chemical de-icer for speed on frosty mornings, invest in a steering wheel lock or simply sit in your car whilst it warms up. Remember never to put your house keys on the same keyring as your car keys to avoid thieves setting off with even more cause for harm.
QBE Insurance Group have some brilliant further information available to help you stay safe and protected whilst driving throughout the winter months. To download their handy guides, click here and here.
If you would like to talk through any insurance options - from home to vehicle to business cover this winter - get in touch for an informal chat today.