Telematics insurer offers tips for inexperienced drivers as winter roads throw up some scary obstacles
As winter sweeps across the country and causes further damage to already worn roads, drive like a girl, is warning that young, inexperienced drivers could be particularly vulnerable to potholes. Despite the Department for Transport reporting a drop in the number of poorly maintained roads, falling from 10% in 2012 to 6% todayi, deterioration is still a significant problem for UK drivers, especially, in the winter months.
“For a new, inexperienced driver, its already daunting to face winter driving conditions”, said Kelly Wilkins, Head of Customer Service at drive like a girl. “And the addition of potholes, which can be hard to spot on dark nights, can make journeys even more treacherous.
“We believe it’s crucial that young drivers not only stay alert to the risk of potholes, but also know what to do should they hit one, because this could undermine the safety of their car.”
The frosty climate of the winter months brings with it added risks. While a crack in the asphalt might appear inconsequential, rising levels of rainfall, frost and snow can find their way in, freeze in low temperatures and expand.
To help young, newly qualified drivers stay safe when faced with these conditions, drive like a girl has provided some top tips.
1. Stay alert
Remaining focused behind the wheel is important at all times, especially in winter. Potholes are difficult to spot, even with headlights on, and can appear in unexpected locations.
2. Stick to a safe speed
Maintaining the correct speed is key to staying safe on the roads anytime of the year. But the level of damage caused by a pothole-related incident will be influenced by the speed of the car at the time of the impact. The slower the impact the less damage likely.
3. Remain calm
If a pothole is spotted ahead, try to slow down or avoid it. But do not suddenly swerve or brake sharply because this will cause dangers to other motorists as well as yourself.
4. Check the car
If you do hit a pothole, stop driving at the first safe location. Check the inner and outer walls of your tyres and take pictures if there is any damage. Depending on the level of damage, call your insurance provider.
5. Report potholes
If you hit a pothole or you have seen one on the road, you can contact your local council to report the issue. Park somewhere safe, note the location and size of the pothole and take pictures of it.
“Staying calm behind the wheel is vital for safe driving in the winter months when there are so many more hazards”, added Kelly Wilkins. “Planning ahead is also important – so that there’s no need to rush a journey. And to help protect fellow road users, report cracks and potholes. You may even be able to get compensation for damage caused to your vehicle by pothole-ridden roads.”
drive like a girl uses individual driver data to determine the risk profile of each policyholder through a black box installed in the vehicle. It shares driving data with each customer through a personalised online portal, empowering them to manage their driving habits in order to reduce their insurance risk profile – and possibly their premiums. drive like a girl policies offer a fixed mileage of 7,000 miles of cover and Reward Points[i]i can be earned for driving safely.
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Notes to Editors
Insurethebox & drivelikeagirl
Insure The Box Limited launched in June 2010 with its first product, insurethebox, holds over 5 billion miles of driving data and associated claims. As well as insurethebox and drive like a girl (another Insure The Box brand) it also administers other telematics offerings. Insurethebox is owned by Aioi Nissay Dowa Europe Limited, part of the major Japanese insurance group MS&AD Holdings, Inc. The group is taking a leading role in the development of technologies that will change the face of motor insurance and the way we view the car.
ii Customers can earn up to 100 Reward Points per month, which can be used to buy extra miles or redeem vouchers.