November 08, 2009 19:00 ET

Swinton Warns Motorists to Prepare for Winter Driving Dangers

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Nov. 9, 2009) - Prepare for winter driving, warns Swinton, the UK's leading high street retailer of car Insurance.

Winter can mean driving in dangerous weather conditions such as snow and ice. Swinton is advising motorists to prepare their vehicles to prevent an accident from taking place, which could result in a car insurance claim.

During the winter months an emergency kit should be kept in the boot of a car in case of an accident or breakdown. The kit should include a fully charged mobile phone, ice scraper and de-icer, torch, warm clothes, blanket, a pair of boots, first-aid kit, battery jump leads and a snow shovel.

Before the severe weather hits The Highways Agency suggests carrying out the following checks:

- Service the vehicle

- Check and replace the anti-freeze in the radiator

- During low visibility and shorter days, keep lights clean and check bulbs regularly

- Ensure tyres are inflated to the manufacturers' recommended pressure and have at least 3mm of tread depth

- Check wiper blades aren't worn so that the windscreen can keep as clean as possible for the extra spray, ice and rain in the winter

- Ensure windows and mirrors are clean. Dirt can make it hard to see as the low winter sun hits

- Don't forget a map for any unplanned diversions

Motorists should remember that during the winter months it can take up to ten times longer to stop when the roads are slippery. Drivers should clear any snow piled up on the car roof, as it can fall onto the windscreen and obscure the view. If a vehicle starts to skid motorists should turn the steering wheel in the direction of the skid and depress the clutch.

Steve Chelton, insurer development manager for Swinton, said: "Driving during the winter can be extremely dangerous and can increase the chance of an accident. Motorists should always prepare their vehicles for the winter in case of an accident of breakdown.

"Before setting off on a journey, routes should be planned accordingly and we would recommend getting up ten minutes early to prepare the car."

About Swinton

- With 580 branches nationwide Swinton is the UK's largest high street insurance retailer

- Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and part of the community

- Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of its clients, offering home, car, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike and even classic car insurance

- With a dedicated team of advisors on hand at every branch to search a panel of insurers to offer quality cover at competitive rates

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