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Driving In Snow And Dealing With Accidents

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In the UK, we don't get a lot of snow - maybe a week at the most (in London) but the further North you go such as in Scotland, you can get a few weeks of snow fall a year. Most people love snow as it's a rarity for some of us but for those of us who have cars and rely heavily on them, the thought of snow is horrible. When snow has freshly fallen, it's easy to walk on but as many people have sloshed around in it, it turns to water which will then turn to ice.

Advice and tips for driving in snow

The safest thing to do is not drive at all but most people have to go to work or pick up and drop off children at school. Most major roads have had grit sprayed on it overnight to prevent ice but not all councils do this and for most years, there has been a shortage as the UK is not prepared for snow and ice.

If you are driving, find out what the major roads are as the smaller and less used routes will not have grit on them. Using well known and busy roads, you have a greater chance of being safer as the smaller and unknown roads will have turned to ice. Contrary to what many people believe, 4x4 and high performance cars do not have an advantage when driving in snowy conditions - all cars will experience the same problem. There is no grip between the tyres and road surface and this is what causes accidents in snow. You will find that 4x4 are most likely to be stranded in snow because of arrogant drivers who think their cars are more powerful than everyone else's and can easily overcome this problem. However, this is not the case.

If you have to drive in snow, remember that speed limits are put in place as guidance - so just because a road says you have to do 40mph doesn't mean it's always safe to drive at the recommended speed limit. Most drivers take their time when driving in snow as it's very dangerous so don't be forced to drive faster than you have to. Drive at a safe slow speed leaving enough distance from the car in front of you just in case either of you has to break sharply. Drive as slowly as you can if you have to drive round a corner as the wheels may slide from beneath you and cause you to lose control of the vehicle.

Claiming on your car insurance for accidents caused by snow

The South of England doesn't get a lot of snow but when it does, accidents are bound to happen. So if you are involved in an accident that was brought on by snow, are you liable? If you have fully comprehensive car insurance policy, then accidents that occur due to snow and ice are covered. You will lose your no claims bonus as a result of putting in a claim. If negligence not arising from you can be proved, then your claim will be successful and you will not lose your no claims bonus.

There are some precautions you can take when driving in heavy snow. Remember to tell someone where you are going if you have to drive in snow and take a mobile phone, a blanket and if possible a hot drink in a flask with you. You don't know what the conditions are on the road and how bad the traffic is going to be.

gices Published 25 Nov 2009
Gices Abraham is the founder of Clever Dodo. He's a life coach and advocates the practice of MAM (Movement/Arts/Meditation) for a well-balanced and happy life. Born in Mauritius and now living in the UK, he usually blogs about fitness, music, spirituality and driving topics to pass on his knowledge.

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Driver SOS (UK)

Helping with car insurance, driving bans, learning to drive and other motoring issues

Driver SOS (UK)

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2897 members . 1217 topics . 2221 posts
anonymous_2 07 Jul 2012

I skidded on ice and crashed into a parked car. The car however was parked half up on the kerb, which I thought was illegal? Am I liable for the damage to the the parked car as well as mine? I was sure that illegally parked cars invalidate their insurance?