How to drive safely this winterNew research highlights risks motorists take

12 November 2012

Winter driving

New research from Churchill Insurance has highlighted that many drivers put their passengers and other drivers in jeopardy in winter.

Drivers don't allow extra time for journeys

Among the key findings from the Churchill car insurance survey were that a quarter of drivers (26%) do not allow extra time for their trips in winter.

Some 44% of motorists also increase their risk of a crash in winter by not effectively demisting/de-icing their car windows. Expert advice from the Which? Cars team gives you tips on driving in snow.

Regular drivers also admitted that they don't always take corners at a slower speed (24%) or increase the distance between their car and the car in front (25%) in winter months. 

Over a quarter of drivers (27%) admitted they skidded on ice last winter, increasing the potential for accidents that will result in a car insurance claim.

Tips for driving in winter

Churchill head of car insurance Tony Chilcott said: 'It is really important that, during winter, drivers do not assume that they can drive at the same speeds and in the same style that they would in fair and dry conditions. 

'Remember that you may not always be able to see ice patches, so at the very least it's a good idea to reduce your speed, particularly when driving around corners.'

Churchill Insurance provided the following tips:

  • Increase the distance between your car and the car in front
  • Reduce your speed, particularly when cornering
  • Remember that you may not always be able to see ice patches. If you skid, ease off the accelerator or take your foot off the brake pedal (depending on which has caused the skid) and gently steer into the direction of the skid until your tyres grip the road again. Do not overcorrect as you will end up sliding the other way
  • To reduce the condensation on cold windows use the air conditioning instead of heated air to demist your windows more quickly and effectively
  • Do not drive until all of your windows are defrosted/demisted and you can see clearly right around your vehicle. Pay particular attention to your windscreen, to avoid the possibility of a fine from the police and points on your licence
  • Keep all of your windows clean and smear-free during the winter months.

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