Tips for safer winter driving

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With the UK remaining in the grip of an unusually cold snap, we just wanted to remind you it might be worth checking out The Institute of Advanced Motorists winter driving advice.

Its website, drivingadvice.org.uk, offers tips on everything from what to do if you see water pooling or streaming across the road – don’t brake or accelerate – or what to do if you skid on ice – take your foot off the pedals and steer to regain control, only use the brake if you can’t steer out of trouble.

And the winter driving guide features information about tyres, snow socks and chains, as well as carrying weather and traffic updates.

With temperatures regularly below freezing and sleet, snow, rain and ice, winter driving can be very hazardous and lead to an alarming increase in accident rates.

For example, slippery roads (due to weather) contributed to 13,420 road casualties in 2011, and related to 79 fatalities, while rain, sleet, snow or fog was the cause of 1,786 reported road casualties in 2011.

According to the IAM, in countries where severe winters are guaranteed, it is quite normal for drivers to switch to winter tyres. This is becoming more common in the UK because of harsh winters over the last two years.

It also advises motorists to keep their tread depths up to 3mm instead of the legal minimum of 1.6mm.

Denna Bowman, Head Office

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