Winter is the most common time of the year both for accidents and breakdowns in the UK due to the extra strain placed on vehicles in harsh weather conditions, and the sometimes dangerous state of the roads.
While it’s best to avoid driving completely during the worst weather, there are plenty of things you can do to stay safe when driving in normal snowy and icy conditions.
Before driving in the winter
Before setting off on any winter journey, it’s important to ensure that your vehicle is in good condition and you are prepared for potential breakdowns. Firstly, it’s important to ensure that your windscreen and headlights are both in good condition, as visibility could be very low in the snow or rain. Make sure that you clear all snow and ice from your windscreen before setting out, and wipe the snow off your headlamps to ensure they’re not obscured.
A good tip is to use air conditioning rather than heating to clear your windows faster. Check your tyre treads before going anywhere – the AA recommends having a tread of at least 3mm for winter driving, which is double that which is necessary at other times of the year. It might be a good idea to use tyres that are particularly designed for winter driving.
When driving in wintry conditions
Make sure you have anti-freeze with you at all times when driving in wintry conditions; your water pump, cylinder pump, and radiator can all very easily become frozen. Without anti-freeze, these problems could result in damage to your vehicle that could cost thousands of pounds to repair. Remember to keep your headlights on at all times in conditions of reduced visibility, even when there are street-lamps, and even in the middle of the day. It’s best to be over-cautious.
What to do if you are injured in a road accident in the winter
If you have been injured in a road accident due to another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to personal injury compensation. Every driver has a responsibility to ensure that they have taken the proper precautions necessary for winter driving, and that they have adjusted their speed according to the conditions. If you feel that they have not met this responsibility, it may be considered negligence.
To discuss your own particular situation with a trained professional, call our expert advisers at Accident Advice Helpline. They’ll be able to tell you whether or not your claim is likely to be valid, and how much compensation you could possibly receive for your injuries.