Apparently, 1.3 million accidents were caused by wintery conditions in the past five years, according to research by Sainsbury’s Finance – and it predicts the figure for this year alone will be 264,000 accidents.
Making sure your tyres are safe and legal can help you avoid being one of these unfortunate motorists! The law requires a minimum 1.6mm of tread across 75% of the width of the tyre, though in adverse conditions, motorists should consider changing tyres when they are down to 3.0mm.
Also, clean the tyres to look for any sidewall damage that may have resulted from hitting an object obscured by snow, or skidding into a kerb.
But going back to Sainsbury’s survey, their research also claims that 38% of drivers are not aware what to do if their car goes into a skid, and that 27% would take the wrong remedial action actually making the situation worse.
To illustrate the scale of the problem, the insurer tested the winter driving skills of a group of drivers on a ‘skid pan’ – worryingly, 50% were unable to safely control a car in a skid.
Following the test, each motorist was given winter driving tuition, and afterwards 91% were able to safely control the car.
Ben Tyte, Head of Sainsbury’s car insurance said: “Everyone knows that driving in wintry weather can be hazardous, but our study shows that a staggering number of drivers do not know how to handle their vehicles in icy conditions.
“It’s important to drive even more safely and be extra vigilant. With another icy winter reportedly on its way, we would encourage all drivers to make sure they know the correct way to handle their vehicle in slippery conditions.”
Denna Bowman, Head Office