Driving in the snow may see motorists protected by insurance loophole

The DANGERS of driving in different weather conditions

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Some meteorologists have predicted that heavy flurries of snow could fall over Christmas and into the new year, potentially causing concern for drivers. James Madden, a weather forecaster for Exacta Weather, said it is becoming “increasingly likely” that there will be a return to cold conditions and the risk of snow around Christmas time.

He said that a white Christmas would be on the cards for “large parts of the north [of the UK] at least”.

With the prospect of snow on the horizon, many may again encounter snow and ice when they return to work after Christmas.

With this comes the heightened risk of accidents and collisions on the roads, which may affect many driving to work.

Charlotte Dowson, associate in the Complex Injury Team at Bolt Burdon Kemp, spoke to Express.co.uk and said drivers could be covered by their employers when on the road.

She added: “If an employee is forced to drive in snow and ice and they are involved in a road traffic collision then damages for the collision (both for the injuries sustained and any vehicle damage) may be covered by their employer’s insurance regardless of who caused it. 

“If another road user caused the collision then the employee may be able to pursue a claim against the other road user’s insurance company instead. 

“However, if an employee is at fault, the concept of vicarious liability will kick in. 

“This simply means that an employer will be held responsible for their employee’s actions whilst driving a company vehicle, especially if they are on duty when the collision happened”. 

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Before setting off, drivers should always prepare for their journey by checking the Met Office website to see if any weather warnings are relevant for their area.

Apps like Google Maps and RAC Route Planner can also aid drivers by showing them where they may be held up in traffic or any diversions.

People should allow for more time than they normally would before they leave to clear car windows, mirrors, lights and the top of their roof of snow before setting off.

Driving with snow on their car could lead drivers to receive fines, especially if it were to fall onto the windscreen and obscure the view, or it falls into the path of another driver.

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Make sure any auto wiper control is switched off before turning the ignition on as this could blow the wiper control fuse if they are frozen to the screen. 

The wipers need to be in good working order so the motorist is able to clean their windscreen effectively.

When living in an area where snow is common, like northern Scotland, it might be worth changing to winter tyres with deeper tread.

Once driving, road users should accelerate gently, use low revs and change up to a higher gear as quickly as possible.

Moving off in second gear will help reduce wheel slip. Some cars have a winter mode, which does the same job.

Drivers can check whether their car has this function in the vehicle handbook.

It is also encouraged for drivers to get their speed right and maintain safe stopping distances between them and the car in front.

Experts suggest that drivers should leave as much as 10 times the normal recommended gap.

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