Winter Driving Myths: What’s True And What’s False?

Winter driving can be challenging. Road surfaces are often slippy, there’s less light and our cars are more likely to experience a number of technical faults. But there are also a number of myths in circulation. Can you separate myth from reality?

Your Car Is More Likely To Be Stolen Around Christmas: FALSE

Winter driving isn’t a consideration if you don’t have a car. But statistics compiled by insurers show no spike in reports of car thefts over the Christmas holidays. In fact, insurance claims actually fall throughout the country. This isn’t that surprising given that, ultimately, many criminals also have families and observe holidays like much of the rest of the population. Figures from Aviva show that claims fell by 87% and 76% on last year’s Christmas and Boxing days respectively.

It’s Illegal To Drive With A Windscreen That Isn’t Fully De-Iced: TRUE

If you’ve been driving during the winter before, you’ve almost certainly come across a driver who’s scraped out a little vision hole in their windscreen. These drivers, besides from being exceptionally irresponsible, are breaking the law. Rule 229 of the Highway Code states motorists ‘MUST be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all your windows’. Police can fine offenders £60 on the spot and issue penalty points. You also need to keep your number plate clear of debris and demist your mirrors and windows.

You’re Required To Keep A Winter Emergency Kit In Your Car: FALSE 

Unlike some of our European neighbours, drivers in the UK aren’t required to carry anything in their vehicles; including a winter driving kit. In France, for example, drivers need to carry a number of items. These include high-visibility vents, breathalysers and an emergency warning triangle. Whilst we”re not required to carry anything in our cars, it’s a good idea to have some winter items. A torch, charged mobile phone, blanket and shovel may make a massive difference if you get into trouble.

Leaving Your Car Unattended With The Engine Running Invalidates Its Insurance: TRUE 

Every single year, hundreds of motorists will make the mistake of leaving their cars unattended with their engines running. They do this in order to defrost them via heating systems. After all, who wants to stand around in the cold? The problem is, many opportunistic thieves are aware of this and are on the lookout for the phenomenon. Insurers are also aware and will refuse to cover any costs if your car is stolen in this fashion. Frankly, this is hardly unfair. You’re effectively giving the car away, so stay with yours when it’s defrosting.

It’s Illegal To Drive In Wellies: FALSE

There are no laws that forbid motorists from wearing any particular form of footwear. Which is fortunate, given that surveys have shown that around 13% of us have driven in wellies in the past. However, Rule 97 in the Highway Code says drivers need to ensure that ‘clothing and footwear do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner’. In other words, it’s up to you to determine whether whatever you have on your feet is suitable to drive in. If you end up in an accident, and it’s found your footwear was inappropriate, it could be used against you in court; but there’s nothing specifically against wellies in general (or anything else).

Winter Driving Is Statistically More Dangerous Than Driving Throughout The Rest Of The Year: TRUE 

Winter driving is more dangerous than driving throughout the rest of the year. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has reported that 2 out of 5 accidents are caused by a lack of light. Combine that with poor weather conditions and you’re left with a clear picture. The Department for Transport has also released figures demonstrating that accidents are more frequent during the winter, especially when it’s dark. So it’s crucial that you drive at a reduced speed, ensure your tyres are properly inflated and have an appropriate amount of tread depth and that you leave plenty of space between your car and others.

How To Drive Safely In Winter Conditions – https://www.autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/how-to-drive-safely-in-winter-conditions/

Car Features That’ll Keep You Warm This Winter – https://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/car-features-thatll-keep-you-warm-this-winter/

With over 16,000 approved garages, a 24/7 support service and a host of cost-saving offers, Autoserve can keep your car moving smoothly. For any further questions please call Autoserve on 0121 521 3500.

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