Motorists have been warned that accidents caused by cold weather could land them with some serious careless driving fines — even if the incident is not their fault. Here’s everything you need to know…
It’s been warned that the snowy weather this weekend could leave drivers with fines.
Motorists caught in cold weather accidents could end up with points on their licence, which may end up in a disqualification.
Snow is expected across the UK this weekend and the risk of this happening is heightened.
The Met Office noted the extreme conditions caused by Storm Arwen by issuing a red weather warning for wind in coastal areas in the east of Scotland and northeast of England.
The red weather warning will come in to force at 3pm on Friday.
The Met Office also said: “An amber wind warning has also been issued for southwest and northwest England, as well as western Wales, and will be in force from midnight on Saturday.”
The conditions can be difficult to drive in and motorists should be extra careful to avoid an accident as they could end up with a fine.
So how can you avoid the fine?
Why could the snow cause me to get a fine?
Drivers may be deemed to be at fault even if the accident is partly caused by the treacherous conditions.
Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1998 dictates that motorists can face a charge of ‘careless driving’.
Under this code, the driver must take account of the conditions while driving and if they ignore them, could face between 3 and 9 points on their license, or even a disqualification.
The weather this weekend may cause bouts of snow and ice on the roads, so drivers should take extra care as to no fall foul of these rules.
Simply saying that you adhered to a speed limit may not be a good defence as in conditions like these, drivers are expected to slow down.
Tips for taking extra precautions when driving in the snow
CarMats.co.uk shared its top tips for driving safely in the snow and ice.
Make sure you can see clearly
Make sure you have removed all of the ice and snow from your windscreen before you set off as you need to make sure you have the best visibility possible.
Pull over and wait if your visibility is impaired by the weather at any point.
Check your car before you leave
Like you would normally, check your car is in good condition before you set off. On days when the weather is particularly bad, make sure your tires are ok and your lights all work correctly and are not obscured.
Remove any snow from the car, and make sure your number plate remains visible.
Prepare for emergencies
This is recommended regardless of the weather, as you never known when you might break down or get stuck.
Bring a shovel and jump leads, as well as personal equipment like your phone and a charger.
Food and water is also important.
Check your route before you leave
Check the forecast before you leave to see if the weather will get worse. You should also check if roads are busy or not.
Keep more of a gap than normal to the car in front of you and driver slower. Do this is as high a gear as you can.
It is recommended that you drive as smoothly as possible and ensure you have no distractions.
Using a hands-free device may distract you and it might be best to turn off the radio and avoid the morning’s Popmaster.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.