Forecasters have predicted heavy snow in the coming weeks and while this may be great news for those who don’t drive, it may spell trouble for drivers. Adverse weather conditions increase the risk of road traffic accidents, so it’s advisable to check the weather forecast before you set off.
The dangers of driving in heavy snow
In the UK, we’re not used to driving in heavy snow and when a flurry of snowflakes settles on the roads, there tends to be travel chaos, especially at times when the roads are busy. If you’re preparing to travel and heavy snow is forecast, this can make driving very hazardous; visibility tends to be poor, the roads can become slippery when snow starts to melt and it can be tricky to get anywhere, especially uphill, if there is a significant amount of snow on the roads.
Before you set off
Before you set off, it’s sensible to make some safety checks and plan ahead. Here are some tips to help reduce the risk of road accidents when driving in heavy snow:
- plan your route and determine suitable stopping places
- check your tyre pressure and tread
- check your oil, screen wash and coolant levels
- pack plenty of warm clothes and food in case you break down or get stranded
- check local weather forecasts
- pay attention to weather warnings and advice from motoring authorities, such as the Highways Agency
- if heavy snow is forecast, consider delaying your journey
During your journey
If it starts to snow very heavily while you are driving, reduce your speed and adjust your stopping distance; keep well back from vehicles in front and accelerate gently to prevent collisions on the road. If you feel the car starting to skid, steer into the direction of the skid and take your foot off the accelerator. If the snow is incredibly heavy and you can’t see at all, pull over and wait for the snow storm to subside. If you encounter difficulties in the snow, call roadside assistance and keep warm.
If you’ve been injured in a car crash in the snow and it wasn’t your fault, call Accident Advice Helpline to discuss your personal injury claim with one of our experienced advisors. If you have a viable road accident claim, our personal injury lawyers will do their best to secure your no win, no fee* car crash compensation payout. Lines are open 24 hours a day on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile.
Date Published: December 9, 2015
Author: David Brown