Recent claims UK winter might be over were dashed this week when the arctic weather returned with a vengeance, blowing down from the North East and bringing blizzards and high winds. Kent and Sussex took the worst of it, with motorists being stranded overnight on snowbound roads. The A23 was one of the worst and further hazards introduced when police had to force motorists to move onto frozen verges in order to get emergency vehicles through.
This weather is in for the week. What will it do to compensation claims UK statistics this late in the season? Usually hazardous weather of this kind sees a surge in accident and personal injury claims. Although winter in March always seems to take us by surprise, in fact it is nothing new. Winter in Britain often hangs around into the early part of April.
Claims UK farmers continue to suffer are borne out by reports that many of them were not able to get their winter wheat in before Christmas, a crop which should be sprouting soon. Some have compensated by switching to barley and some beet farmers are able to use the barley on top of the wheat crop to reduce soil erosion. The eastern part of the UK is traditionally the beet growing area and where the soil is sandy and friable, it can get blown away. Freezing weather is less of a problem in these conditions than flooding.
Motorists have had a tough time of it in Britain over recent weeks. The frequency of the “overnighter in the stranded vehicle” is much higher these days and it could be due to the sheer volume of traffic on the roads, combined with the sudden onset of bad weather. The snowstorms do seem to sweep in very quickly. Claims UK gritting lorries did not respond are unfair. They did get out, but the grit that was laid down was soon absorbed by heavier than expected snowfall and numbers of vehicles. The best thing the motorist can do is to watch the weather reports and amend his plans accordingly.