Nearly a third (30 per cent) of all claims made on Tuesday – the first day of widespread snow – were related to damage caused by driving in the treacherous conditions.
The AA said around 2,500 private cars were involved in shunts, bumps and scrapes on Tuesday, with total damage caused amounting to around £3 million.
Michael Lloyd, the AA’s director of insurance, said it had already seen a sharp rise in significant claims after just one day of extreme weather.
‘While may drivers are taking care on the slippery roads the toll of dings and dents – some serious – is rising fast,’ he explained.
‘Of those the AA has taken so far, 17 per cent are described as ‘minor’ with the car still driveable; just over half (54 per cent) as ‘medium’ damage with the car still driveable and 29 per cent as ‘serious’ with the car immobile.’
From the motoring group’s analysis, it seems most collisions involve two vehicles swapping paint while both try to navigate the slippery roads.
The most common claims involve two moving vehicles, often on bends and hills, followed by cars hitting inanimate objects such as bollards, walls or buildings.
The next most common shunt is tail-end crashes – one car running into the back of another that’s stationary – and motorists hitting parked vehicles, with a few also leaving the road completely and ending up in ditches and fields.
Lloyd said the sudden rise in claims shows drivers aren’t taking as much care on the road as they should and taking unnecessary risks by getting behind the wheel in the first place.
‘Being involved in a collision is distressing and potentially it can be much more than your paintwork and pride being dented,’ he added.
‘Fortunately most of these collisions are relatively minor because drivers tend to keep the speed down when the roads are snow or ice bound.
‘But it underlines the need to take real care and allow plenty of space between you and the car in front.
‘If you can avoid it, don’t make extreme moves like trying to accelerate or brake suddenly because your tyres will lose their grip. Sometimes evasive action is needed – but that’s when you are also most likely to lose control.’
Drivers are being warned that tomorrow’s conditions could worsen further, with Storm Emma sweeping in tomorrow with a ‘weather cocktail’ of black ice, blizzards, gales and sleet.
Source: This is money