IAM: ‘Think twice before driving in bad weather’

16th October 2012

Drivers should think twice about whether their journey is essential if conditions on the road are treacherous.

That is the advice being offered by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), which has announced the launch of its winter driving campaign.

Simon Best, IAM chief executive, said: "The first thing you need to ask when the weather is bad is whether you need to travel, and if so, if there are alternatives to the roads."

Mr Best explained that it is important to drive slowly in poor driving conditions, and he said it is vital to be particularly vigilant when there are bends ahead or "roads which are open to the elements".

Clearly keen to reiterate its safe driving message, the IAM published figures which revealed that roads which become slippery due to wet weather conditions were related to 79 fatalities in 2011 alone.

The IAM also revealed that fog, as well as rain, sleet and snow caused some 1,786 accidents on the UK's roads in 2011.

Driver error only compounded these injuries, as the IAM revealed that driving too fast was a contributory factor in some 13,425 accidents in 2011.

As part of the campaign, the IAM has built a website, drivingadvice.org.uk, which includes updates on traffic and weather forecasts to help motorists decide what, if any, route to take.

The IAM states that an increasing number of motorists in the UK are turning to winter tyres as the country's weather become harsher.

Anyone who is considering purchasing winter tyres should do so before the weather turns particularly cold, as they may be difficult to get hold of once the first snow has arrived.

Regardless of whether drivers purchase winter tyres, the AIM is keen to remind motorists that tread depths should be kept at three mm, rather than 1.6 mm, during the winter months.

The organisation recommends that drivers who are not keen to purchase separate tyres just for winter may want to consider snow socks as a more cost-effective solution.

They are made from strong fabric which grips snow and will fit over a car's existing tyres.

Another alternative for drivers who want to stay gripped to the road in snowy conditions are chains, although these are a more expensive option than snow socks.

Motorists who choose to invest in chains will have to pay approximately £50 for basic versions and as much as £200 for those which can be used on a regular basis.

The website also contains fuel-saving tips, which can help to reduce the amount drivers spend on motoring during the winter months.

Drivers who are considering taking the car on a journey up to two miles, should think again as it takes this distance to warm a car, so walking makes more sense if a trip is short.

Windows should be de-iced before the engine starts, as this can be a time-consuming task and the car should be driven as soon as it kicks into gear, the AIM advises.

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