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Driver safety in cold weather

This winter is proving one of the most challenging for drivers in recent years. Britain has been battered by storms, blizzards, and freezing temperatures, which have sometimes made getting from A to B a challenge. In some places, drivers have been warned not to travel. And some who have ventured out have been left stranded in their cars and trucks. If staying at home is not an option for you, be prepared with our guide to driver safety in cold weather:

Do you know what to do if your vehicle starts sliding on ice towards another vehicle or solid object?

Snow and ice can make for difficult driving conditions. If you start to slide, you’ll have little control of your vehicle and that can result in accidents.

Here are our top tips on what to do if you start to skid:

  • Try to stay calm
  • Don’t hit the brakes
  • Take your foot off the accelerator so you start to gently slow down
  • Try to keep the steering wheel straight
  • If the back end of the vehicle starts to swing out, gently turn the steering wheel in the same way as you’re sliding. This only needs to be a slight adjustment, not a sharp turn. If you turn your wheel in the opposite direction to the side that your car rear is spinning you risk skidding

Prevention is better than cure

Whilst the tips above might help you to cope if you start to skid, it’s always better to try to avoid getting into that position in the first place. When driving in wintery conditions:

  • Slow down
  • Keep a safe distance between you and the car in front
  • Check your tyres have plenty of tread to give you better grip on the road

What is black ice? And how can you spot it?

Black ice is just like any kind of ice. It forms on roads when surface water freezes. It’s called black ice because you often can’t see it and it just blends in with the ‘black’ colour of the road. And that can make it very dangerous if you unexpectedly hit it when you’re driving.

And it’s not just snow and ice that can cause problems on the roads in winter…

Winter storms can bring flash flooding to roads. Coupled with the early, dark nights, driving home from work in wet weather can be fraught with danger.

If there’s been heavy rain, always remember that you could face flooding on the roads. A blocked drain can swiftly turn a normally clear road into a paddling pool. Even on roads that you’re very familiar with, drivers can be taken unaware by just how deep surface water on the road is.

Also, bear in mind that the air intakes in many vehicles, including some BMWs, can be set under the engine bay, and quite low to the road. This means that negotiating even quite shallow water could destroy your engine and leave you with a complete write-off.

Make sure your insurance covers you

No matter how much caution you take when driving in the winter, accidents can and do happen.

With car insurance seeming to cost more each time you renew, it can sometimes be tempting to cut back on cover to save a few pennies. But if something does go wrong, it could end up costing you a lot more in the long run.

Instead, if you want to save money but still be sure of a robust policy that will give you peace of mind, use an independent insurance broker like Easy2Insure to shop around and find you a better deal.

Car insurance extras to consider for added peace of mind in winter weather

  • You might also want to consider taking out a separate cosmetic insurance policy. This lets you fix the smaller, cosmetic-only prangs to your car’s bodywork without impacting on your future no-claims bonus for your car insurance.
  • Avoid being stuck on the side of the road for hours on a cold winter’s night with breakdown cover. This add-on to your insurance can be a cost-effective way to buy the peace of mind that a trained mechanic can come to either fix your car and get you back on your way again or they can tow you and your car to safety.

Get cheap car insurance

Do you know where to start looking for the best price on car insurance? Let our expert team at Easy2Insure shop around on your behalf. For a no-hassle, free quote, call us on 0800 9179522 or get a quote.