Driving in a winter wonderland

If we need to stop car insurance premiums rising, we might all need a bit of extra training

A snowy street

A snowy street in Kent

As I walked to the station this morning, I watched as drivers skidded down the icy roads, and observed more than a few nasty dents on cars that may have been involved in accidents. Seeing our roads in such a state got me thinking about the standards of driving in the UK.

It’s true that we have less accidents and deaths on our roads than many other countries, but it’s also true that we have a fairly moderate climate. I think that if I took a poll among drivers, I might find that a fair proportion of them passed their driving test without ever having experienced really bad weather, icy conditions, night time driving, or having more than one passenger in the car.

This, coupled with a lack of experience, could be the cause of many accidents during this icy weather. To reduce the number of accidents, legislation could be passed to make sure that learner drivers have to prove they can drive in these conditions in order to pass their test.

Of course we cannot control the weather, so this may involve using a driving simulator to recreate the necessary conditions. The higher cost of involving a simulator could be offset by offering discounts on car insurance premiums, or by giving the new driver cashback for every year they go without an accident.

Do you think these measures could help reduce accidents on Britain’s roads?

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2 comments

  1. Roy Walker on January 17, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    How right you are. It never ceases to amaze me how (mainly) younger drivers drive too quickly up to red traffic lights and then pile on the brakes. If they were taught to ease off the accelerator when approaching a red light or other braking situations, they would save themselves fuel, brake linings and in icy conditions possible prangs

  2. Mark Monteiro on January 18, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Thanks for your comment. I think it would be a good idea for all drivers to take refresher courses that clearly explain the benefits of good driving habits, both for the driver’s safety and for the sake of the environment. The Government is currently running a multi-million pound campaign to encourage people to drive 5 miles less a week to bring down CO2 emissions which is great news, but it could also be a good idea for them to run a similar campaign promoting more efficient driving.

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