Britain is in the grip of a big winter freeze – again. Personal injury compensation providers expect a surge in the instances of accident claim as winter continues to paralyse the UK. Last night temperatures dropped once more into negative figures, down to -11 degrees in the north, -6 degrees at Gatwick and -10 degrees at Stansted. Tonight is forecast to be even colder, with parts of Scotland plunging to -12 degrees. The Met Office continues to advise the public to “be prepared” and it has issued yellow weather warnings for Wales and the West Country and amber warnings for Scotland and the North East. More heavy snow is forecast this week for those areas.
Weather warning light system
The Met Office’s traffic light weather warning system is a handy at-a-glance guide to local conditions.
- Yellow Be aware of snowy and icy underfoot, risk of skidding
- Amber Be prepared for disruption to travel and road closures
- Red Take Action Keep emergency supplies in the car and don’t attempt to travel unless unavoidable
Accident claim stats climb in bad weather
Brits are not accustomed to living in this kind of arctic weather and it takes us by surprise. Besides the expected increase in road traffic accidents, media reports this week include a flurry of injuries from more unusual events, such as sliding down a snowy hill on a brand new sledge, or even an old one. It’s thrilling but a real knock-out if you hit that tree at 20 mph or travel further than you intended into that oncoming car. Air travellers continue to suffer delays and cancellations but if it’s any consolation, it’s not just us. The deluge of snow has hit all of Northern Europe and even if flights can get out of Heathrow, some are delayed because they can’t land at the destination.
Beware the unwanted accident claim
Rain falling onto frozen surfaces means increased hazards from icy, slippery surfaces. Organisations need to be extra vigilant in this weather if they want to avoid higher rates of accident claim. Hazardous hot spots include:
Busy public entrances where wet shoes are bringing in slippery slush, especially onto marble and tiled surfaces
Iced-up access ramps and steps
Broken paving, gulleys and drain covers hidden under snow
Bring me sunshine
On a warmer note, at the weekend, temperatures are expected to rise and daytime highs should be between 4 and 6 degrees although a wind chill factor will make it feel colder. Please remember to put out food for the birds.
Date Published: January 23, 2013
Author: David Brown