(PRWEB UK) 15 January 2013
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 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.”
Notes to editors
This press release is embargoed until 13/01/13
About Halfords Group plc
The Group is the UK's leading retailer of automotive and leisure products and through Halfords Autocentres, also one of the UK's leading independent car servicing and repair operator. Halfords customers shop at 467 stores* in the UK and Republic of Ireland and at halfords.com for collection at their local store or direct home delivery. Halfords Autocentres operates from 270 sites* nationally and offers motorists dealership-quality MOTs, tyres, repairs and car servicing at affordable prices.
Halfords employs approximately 12,000 staff and sells around 10,000 different product lines in stores, increasing to around 16,000 lines at Halfords.com. The product offering encompasses significant ranges in car parts, cycles, in-car technology, child seats, roof boxes, outdoor leisure and camping equipment. Halfords own brands include the in-store Bikehut department, for cycles and cycling accessories, Apollo and Carrera cycles and exclusive UK distribution rights of the premium ranged Boardman cycles and accessories. In outdoor leisure, we sell a premium range of camping equipment, branded URBAN Escape. Halfords offers expert advice and a fitting service called "wefit" for car parts, child seats, satellite navigation and in-car entertainment systems, and a "werepair" service for cycles.