By Denna Bowman
The Institute of Advanced Motorists has launched its winter driving campaign offering advice on everything from safer driving techniques to winter tyres.
A focal point of the campaign is its new website, drivingadvice.org.uk, which features information about tyres, snow socks and chains, as well as carrying weather and traffic updates.
The campaign comes in response to winter’s more hazardous driving conditions which cause 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.
However, the organisation warns motorists who want to fit winter tyres, to do so as early as possible to beat the rush. By the time the snow hits they will be difficult to find.
It also advises motorists to keep their tread depths up to 3mm instead of the legal minimum of 1.6mm.