Monday, 21 January 2013

Drivers Beware As Big Freeze Increases Accidents Six-Fold

Annually, I look forward to the patronising driver safety tips broadcast on every news channel to equip us for the five flakes of UK snowfall predicted.

However, this year is slightly different. I’ve actually seen snow! Yes, real white stuff. In INCHES! Forgive me for sounding a little satirical – the journey to the office this morning wasn’t as easy…and on the basis of that, here’s some interesting information we thought I’d share.

The lovely people of have released information saying your summer tyres aren’t going to cope well in this weather. Hold off on the slow clap. They’re kindly offering to change them for you, which is dead nice of them. If, however, you don’t want to spank £200+ straight after Christmas, we suggest you drive really carefully. They aren’t BS-ing when they say driver accidents during the winter months are six times more likely. The increase in flu and cold symptoms, which driver concentration and alertness, is acknowledged to play a part. This coupled with the difficult road conditions mean more accidents, if you’re not the one with a car full of snot rags and Lemsip.

Statistically, over half of annual insurance claims are made during the same period. After the pre-Christmas hikes we’ve seen, following the introduction of non-gender based policies, considering winter tyres may save a few pennies in the long run.

On a similar note, GEM Motoring Assist has been requesting function over fashion on the footwear front. David Williams, CEO, said, “We know that fashion dictates which winter boots are popular this season. However, many don’t offer enough grip and could cause your foot to slip off or in between pedals when driving.”

As I moodily kick off my hot pink, gold-toed platforms, I have a few words of advice:

 - Keep a blanket in the car, you may need to conserve heat (or create it ;)) with someone else and as I mentioned, you need to make sure the windows are covered

- Don’t “pop out” without your wallet, fully-charged mobile and coat – your wallet has your roadside assistance card in it, which is rendered useless if your phone battery dies*

- A couple of bottles of water, two tins of Red Bull and bag of Haribo Starmix and Peanut M&Ms will ensure you’ll be alive and wired when they find you, should you get stranded. Particularly if you’ve only been gone an hour.*

- Check the car over after you’ve spent two minutes using your redundant Library card to give yourself some visibility – tyre pressure, radiator, water bottle, oil, petrol. You feel like more of a jackass having to call for help because there’s no fuel.*

*No, I don’t care what you think. I have TOTALLY not done this myself.**

**I may be entirely fibbing right now.

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