This winter has certainly been cold with record temperatures being reported in areas of the country. These temperatures would certainly be more at home in the Polar regions as many areas in southern England going well in to the minus figures, this all means that not only do we need to take more care on the road when driving but also when we’re off the road.

The roads can sometimes be terribly troublesome if you’re not careful during winter months, the chances you’ll suffer braking problems are almost a dead cert with ice and slush dragging our stopping distances out further than normal. Try to avoid driving as fast in the snow and ice as it will make stopping much harder should you be in traffic.

Sometimes you can tell of the impending freeze when you see grit trucks out on the roads in the evening but if you drive on smaller roads and backstreets then there’s a chance that they won’t be gritted and so can become virtual ice rinks in the morning.

The car thieves absolutely love this time of year as for the small price of getting up a few hours earlier they can catch all the workers preparing to drive to work. Many of us, me included are guilty of leaving our car running to get the fan heaters on and warm the engine up before setting off. You’d be surprised how quickly it takes for a criminal to steal your car if you leave your keys in the ignition and they see the exhaust billowing smoke.

The trouble is that if your car is stolen then by leaving your car unattended with the keys in the ignition then your car insurance provider will not cover your loss, insurers assume you exercise proper caution with your car and treat these matters with the view that you have been reckless with the security of your vehicle and will render your insurance void.

As well as accidents and thefts there’s one other problem with driving in the winter months, there’s always the possibility that if we get a lot of snow that some motorists become stuck or stranded. If this happens then hopefully you’ll have your phone to call for assistance or perhaps there has been an accident and you’re stuck in traffic.

If you’re stuck in this situation then you don’t want to freeze to death and obviously don’t want to waste your fuel by keeping the engine running so you should have some way of keeping warm whether it’s a blanket or pocket hand warmers if you are driving long distances or in areas where snow is forecast it’s best to always have a winter survival kit of warm clothing, some food provisions and perhaps a flask of tea or coffee. You never know if you’ll be stuck in your car for many hours and so if the worst comes to the worst you’re best being prepared!

It’s true that the winter period has the highest amount of car insurance claims, mainly due to careless driving in the ice and snow and car insurance quotes reflect this but if you exercise some extra caution and are fully road-aware then you should be able to make it through the colder month without a mishap.

About the author

Andy Adams is an experienced UK motoring writer.