The UK’s first bout of widespread freezing weather has caused 9%* more accidents compared to normal winter levels, reports Accident Exchange.
Since the Met Office issued a level 3 (of 4) Cold Weather Alert on Monday, incidents have been reported across the UK including in London and the South East, Northern England and Scotland.
Many of the accidents reported were the result of losing control in icy conditions, mostly due to insufficient gaps to vehicles in front. The accident specialist urges drivers to be more cautious than usual.
This week, nearly 10% more motorists than normal will be counting the cost of their mishaps - the average outlay for repairs alone is £2,185 or, for the at-fault driver, the crash can result in the loss of their no claims bonus, an unwelcome blow before Christmas.
Peter Pellegrini of Accident Exchange said: "Driving in harsh, wintry conditions can be an absolute minefield. Great care is needed to avoid losing control when it is icy, so drivers need to allow extra time for their journeys.
"Nobody wants to have an accident but especially not during the festive period."
The Met Office is predicting that by Friday temperatures will have risen before dropping again next week. However, repeated freeze-thaw cycles can make driving conditions even more treacherous by breaking up the road surface and increasing braking distances.
*9% rise in number of accidents reported to Accident Exchange on 10 and 11 December compared to 3 and 4 December