We recently reported that the chances of Glasgow having a White Christmas might not be on the agenda for us this year.
However, that doesn’t mean we won’t have bad weather conditions – and it certainly doesn’t mean we won’t have more snow before the big day.
Despite no snow or rain forecast as of yet, we are expected to be hit by high winds of up to 80 mph, with the Met Office issuing two yellow weather warnings.
With this in mind, it may be good to remember some winter driving rules and common mistakes drivers should avoid – or risk. a strong possibility of invalidating your insurance.
Comparison site GoCompare has already warned that you could void your insurance or even break the law while driving in ice and snow.
Matt Oliver, of the auto insurance comparison site, said: “While driving when a yellow weather warning is issued does not affect your insurance coverage, there are actually a number of ways in which drivers may void their coverage or break the law when driving in bad weather conditions.
“This means that even if your area has had its weather alert downgraded, you should still exercise caution when it comes to taking your car on the road and avoid doing so if possible.”
While many people advise drivers to stay home when the weather outside is bad, this is not always possible and sometimes it feels like you just have to hit the road.
So what are these four common mistakes and why could they invalidate your insurance?
1. Do not remove snow from the roof of the car before leaving
This is a pretty common mistake – and many make sense if you don’t clear all the snow from your car’s roof, it could void your insurance and even result in a fine.
The reason is that having snow on the roof of your car while driving can be a danger to yourself and other drivers. This is because snow may fall and obscure your vision or that of another motorist, especially when you are driving at high speed or when you brake.
If you have an accident and the snow on your roof is the cause, in most cases your insurer is unlikely to pay because it could be seen that you have been irresponsible.
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2. Do not defrost and demist the whole car.
It is a legal requirement that before driving you must make sure your windshield is clear of any obstructions – including ice – which means you must carefully defrost and demist your vehicle before setting off.
However, what people can forget is that this applies to all windows and mirrors on your vehicle, even if your car has parking sensors.
3. Leave your car unattended while it is heating up
With sub-zero temperatures and a potential freeze forecast for Glasgow this week, motorists won’t be covered if they leave their vehicles unlocked and unattended while their car is defrosted – especially if they leave their keys in the ignition.
This is because most policies include a duty of care clause. So while it may be tempting to stay inside the house while the car is warming up and defogging, if someone jumps in the car and walks away with it, you wouldn’t be covered.
4. Do not drive appropriately for the conditions.
While most providers will pay if you have an accident in winter conditions, it is also up to the driver themselves to take responsibility for their driving.
If the insurer judges that you are driving irresponsibly, given the conditions, it is more likely that they will not pay.
It is therefore essential to verify the details of any third-party coverage, because although many comprehensive insurance policies are reimbursed for damage caused by adverse conditions, the same is not true of insurance policies. liability insurance – which generally only covers damage to other vehicles.