Winter Driving Guidelines to Lower Your Car Insurance

Winter Driving Guidelines to Lower Your Car Insurance

by Rebecca Hall on 31 Mar, 2011

Car insurance premiums are affected by a range of factors, but none more so than the number of accidents a driver has had over the last few years. And with winter the likelihood of bumping into somebody or coming off the road increases by around 25%. The knock on effect on your direct car insurance is of course an increase in premiums.

However, crashes are rarely inevitable and by appreciating the changes in your surroundings it is possible to make yourself far less likely to be forking out more for your car insurance.

The biggest change is often the condition of the roads with ice, slush and snow all reducing the amount of grip a car has. This in turn increases stopping distances and makes sharp or sudden turning very difficult. Together this means drivers have to be thinking a little further ahead than perhaps they normally would, so that slowing down, indicating and moving across lanes can be done with good time and safely.

Drivers also have to be more aware of vehicles around them as the ability of all drivers to take sudden action will be effected. And so all indicatory action must be done well in advance of any actual turning so that cars behind can slow down or move out of the way!

Visibility can also be a problem in winter and so there is even more reason to drive slowly and reduce in-car distractions allowing more time to be focused on the road ahead and other vehicles. Precautionary steps are just as important and simple things like de-icing your windscreen and checking that your wipers are in good condition can both help to improve visibility.

There are of course more extreme remedies such as the fitting of snow tires. However these pose a number of problems. Firstly, some insurers treat them as a modification and so will charge an additional premium. Secondly, they are very expensive and unless the driver is experienced in using them the benefit can offer be minimal.

Finally, staying calm and relaxed is crucial. The winter weather combined with the stress of Christmas can lead to drivers feeling they have to rush to get somewhere or to do something. This is a false economy. It is far better to turn up 20 minutes late and safe than to have an accident whilst rushing.

None of these changes are difficult to make and are in essence just small improvements of a drivers day to day driving. But by bearing in mind the conditions and making the allowances that they require, drivers can really reduce the chances of being involved in an accident and thus avoid premiums on direct car insurance going up.

About the Author

Rebecca Hall

Rebecca Hall worked as an independent mortgage adviser for 10 years before turning to financial journalism full time. She has strong links to the CAB advising families on mortgage refinancing.