Driving in bad weather

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This guide explains how to stay safe behind the wheel in bad weather conditions and also when you should avoid driving

The only thing predictable about British weather is the fact it's totally unpredictable. From flash floods and gale force winds, to snow drifts and golf ball sized hail stones, we get it all in the UK and this can be a nightmare for British motorists.

Flooding and your car

In recent years you'd be forgiven for thinking we lived in Atlantis rather than the British Isles. Winter storms have lashed our coastlines and villages have become islands, accessible only by canoe or rowboat. So what does that mean for our cars? And more specifically how does it affect your car insurance?

Well the good news is, if you have a fully comprehensive policy you may be able to claim for damage to your vehicle as a result of a flood. If you take a risk and drive your car into a flood, you may not be covered for any damage caused.

Here is our list of tips to avoid getting into hot water if you have to make a claim after a flood.

  • Keep an eye on weather news for you area. Local news outlets, the Met Office website or the Environment Agency will all have information on predicted weather for your area. If floods are predicted then try to move your car to higher ground if possible.
  • In the General Conditions section of Admiral's policy booklets it states the policyholder must protect their car from loss or damage. This is likely to include not taking unnecessary risks, things like driving through a heavily flooded area for example.
  • It's not just your car you are putting at risk by driving into a flood, just two feet of water is enough to sweep a car away.
  • Don't just follow the car in front of you through flooded areas. Yes they may have made it through to the other side, but they may have damaged their engine in doing so. Mechanical and electrical failures are not covered under your Admiral policy so don't take the risk of flooding the engine with water.
  • Similarly, if your area is flooded and your car is submerged, do not try to start the engine.
  • If your car is affected by flooding then call our claims team.

Icy conditions

One minute we are hearing about the mildest winter in a decade the next we are being told to wrap up warm for the approaching cold snap. Well it's during these cold snaps that many drivers face problems on the roads. Whether it's chipped windscreens because of gritters or black ice causing potentially lethal driving conditions, sometimes you may wonder why bother with driving at all.

We've created this list of our top tips for staying safe in the icy conditions.

  • During winter keep an emergency kit of useful items in your car. Things like blankets, extra layers, a torch, some food, water and a spade may all come in handy if bad weather sets in and you become stranded in your car.
  • Grit your driveway to help you get in and out of your home safely. If you don't have grit cat litter will work just as well.
  • If bad weather is expected check with the highway code in advance and make sure you adhere to it. Did you know that aside from being a risk to yourself and other drivers, if you drive with snow on your roof or blocking your windows you could end up with penalty points?
  • Always drive slowly and carefully in icy conditions, it can take up to ten times longer to stop on an icy road so always allow extra room between you and the car in front.
  • Drive slowly and carefully, even if it hasn't been snowing if the temperature has dropped below zero there could be black ice on the roads which you won't be able to see.
  • Black ice can be particularly hazardous as it is difficult to spot. It tends to form in the early morning and evening when the temperature is freezing or below, or in more shaded spots of the road. If the conditions are cold and the road appears to be wet but you don't see any spray it could well be a patch of black ice.
  • If you are involved in an incident then call our claims team.

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