January 17, 2013 /EIN Presswire/
-- Snow and ice on the roads mean motorists are five times more likely to be involved in collisions, an analysis of accidents by Halfords Autocentres has revealed.
Insurance and Government figures show over 3,000 vehicles a week will be involved in crashes during these conditions - resulting in up to 40,000 cars or vans being damaged and leaving many drivers and passengers in need of hospital treatment.
Thousands of pedestrians will also fall victim to the wintry weather and health authorities are bracing themselves for a spike in emergency admissions following slips on pavements, roads and driveways as the big freeze takes hold.
The total cost to the nation as a result could exceed ?50m a day, once time off work, extra welfare benefits and loss of income are taken into account.
When plunging temperatures hit the country two years ago more than three million motorists had accidents and 45% had two or more near misses.
Rory Carlin from Halfords Autocentres said: "You can't be too prepared when extreme winter weather hits. Last year's mild winter may have lulled people into a false sense of security but, as we have seen in recent months, the weather can be unpredictable.
"We want motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to stay safe, think ahead and take adequate precautions - for example motorists should ensure their cars are prepared for the snow and ice in order to give them the best possible chance of avoiding a mishap."
The most common vehicle accident in ice and snow, according to insurance statistics, is a tail end collision at traffic lights or roundabouts, and sliding on bends into oncoming traffic. The second highest claim is for prangs to parked cars.
Department of Transport figures* show 103 people were killed and 14,619 people were injured in reported road accidents when there was snow and ice on the ground. Of these there were 27 fatalities and 4,875 injuries when it was actually snowing.
The cost of winter slips and trips on paths and pavements costs the UK up to ?42 million in hospital care and Health & Safety experts are urging people to prepare for freezing conditions and to take precautions to avoid injury.
Academics at Liverpool's John Moores University, who calculated the most recent report on winter costs to the NHS, concluded that 'keeping surfaces clear of snow and ice should be considered a public health priority'. This echoes the Government Guidelines which advise home owners to remove ice and "use salt if possible - as it will melt the ice or snow and stop it from refreezing overnight."
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Halfords Autocentres is a leading independent car maintenance, servicing, repair, tyre and MOT garage network. We employ highly trained ATA accredited technicians and use the latest in vehicle diagnostic equipment to deliver dealership quality work at affordable prices. Halfords Autocentres encourage people to keep stocked up with deicer in the icy weather and ensure their wiper blades are up to standard to help visibility.
Being independent expert's means that we are able to repair and maintain any make or model of car in line with the manufacturer's standards, whilst offering a local price match promise and peace of mind in the form of a minimum guarantee of 12 months or 12,000 miles on work carried out. (See website for terms and conditions)
The Halfords Autocentres name may be a recent addition to our 270 centre's, but our heritage spans more than three decades and we serve over 750,000 customers every year - with over 8 out of 10 of them being happy to recommend us to their friends.
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