Wintery weather warning for drivers

Wintery weather warning for drivers

With the recent nationwide deep-freeze1 plus a lack of daylight hours associated with the month of January, esure car insurance is urging motorists to make sure they’re prepared for wintery driving conditions and offers tips on how to stay claim-free.

esure’s in house claims statistics2 show that motorists are nearly twice as likely to have an accident in January when compared to the rest of the year and those motorists are three times more likely to have an accident on the 18th of the month - making Sunday 18th January the worst day for car accidents. In fact, two January dates - the 18th and 28th - both appear in the top five worst days of the year.

Top 5 ‘worst’ days for car accidents3

18th January - 68 per cent increase from average claims
12th December - 60 per cent increase from average claims
19th December - 30 per cent increase from average claims
28th January - 30 per cent increase from average claims
3rd March - 30 per cent increase from average claims
January is a particularly bad month for motoring accidents, poor weather and higher traffic volumes which delay many commuters on their journey to work according to research4 by esure. Over half of motorists questioned (58 per cent) admit that they have been late for work at least twice a week due to weather-related motoring issues - 38 per cent as a result of accidents en route.

Mike Pickard, Head of Risk and Underwriting at esure car insurance, said: “Winter is a notoriously bad time for motorists with January the most treacherous month for drivers. Motorists should take extra care, adapt their driving style according to the road and weather conditions, and allow extra time for each journey.

Any claim - whether you’re at fault or not - will affect your car insurance premium, so at a time when purse-strings are tight, safeguarding your precious no claim discount is crucial.”

esure has put together some simple steps to help motorists stay accident-free during winter:

Pay to protect your no claim discount: consider paying a small additional premium to protect your no claim discount. Unavoidable incidents can affect any driver at any time - no matter what their driving ability. esure offers ‘protection for life’ which gives drivers a guaranteed discount level regardless of any claims made throughout the life of their policy with the company5.
Adjust your driving style to handle icy conditions: research6 commissioned by esure projects that over 6 million UK drivers (20 per cent) have experienced an accident while driving in icy weather conditions. Avoid sudden braking, use the braking power of the car’s engine, leave a greater gap between the car in front, and in a skid, take your foot off the brake and turn into it.
Beware of opportunistic thieves: When defrosting an icy windscreen, never leave your vehicle unattended whilst it’s running as making a claim for a ‘frosting’ theft could leave you uninsured due to negligence.
Consider the experience of your named drivers: If you have an inexperienced or newly-passed driver added to your car insurance policy then check whether they feel confident driving in icy conditions. If you are unsure, drive them yourself or accompany them on their journey as your no claim discount will be impacted, not theirs.
If in doubt, take public transport: It’s crucial to be calm and confident when behind the wheel. If you’re nervous, don’t drive. Also, consider whether your vehicle is likely to handle poorly in wintery weather. A rear-wheel-drive sports car is not the safest option on icy roads, even for the most experienced motorist.

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