7,000 cars damaged by the snow - how to avoid it

22 January 2013

As many as 7,000 cars were left damaged by last weekend's snow and ice, according to the AA.

The figures from AA insurance also show how the cold snap has caused up to £3.5 million damage to vehicles as snow fell across the country.

From last Friday to yesterday, AA Insurance received more than 500 claims, of which 45% were related to snow and ice.

The insurers said common claims were for collisions with kerbs, walls, fences and parked cars. One driver admitted his car slid down an icy street, bouncing off parked cars as it went and causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Another claim came when a driver mistook a snow-covered surface for the road, only to find out it was the village pond.

Driving igloos

Simon Douglas, director of AA insurance, criticised motorists for failing to ready their car for cold weather and driving around in "little more than igloos".

"People who drive around in cars that could be mistaken for an igloo are accidents waiting to happen," he says.

"Not only can they see little of their surroundings but chunks of snow and ice fly off as they drive, posing a serious risk to pedestrians and other drivers."

The AA recommendations for driving in icy conditions are:

  • Gentle manoeuvres are the key to safe driving
  • Wear comfortable, dry shoes for driving. Cumbersome, snow-covered boots will slip on the pedals
  • Pull away in second gear, easing your foot off the clutch gently to avoid wheel-spin
  • Keep a constant speed, choosing the most suitable gear well in advance to avoid having to change down on the hill
  • Leave as much room as possible between you and the car in front. If you have to use brakes then apply them gently. Release the brakes and de-clutch if the car skids and gently re-apply the brakes. A locked wheel on ice will do nothing to slow your car.

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