With the shortest day now safely behind us, we can look forward not only to a reduced incidence of druidical nonsense but also to increasing day lengths, as axial precession frees us day by day from the dour dominion of darkness.

But there’s plenty of sepulchrality still to come for UK motorists before Hodur concedes to Odur, prompting one telemetrical insurance provider to warn drivers to “reduce their speed as appropriate to the conditions.”

InsureMyBox, for it is they, revealed this week that, whilst they normally alert the emergency services roughly ten times a month to a customer involved in a serious RTA smash-up, that figure rises to roughly 14 a month from November through January.

What this means – for let us not indulge in circumboscal pellation – is that winter brings a 14% uplift in the mortal danger quotient of UK on-road drivage. It’s statistics like that than can put a person off driving altogether – at least until Idun wife of Bragi warms us once again with her gentle vernal wafts.

In reality, of course, few of us can afford the luxury of holing up til Spring with a season’s supply of baked beans, beer and Beef Wotsits. Most of us will need to do a Rea back to the yearning bosoms of our long neglected fam-a-lams.

InsureMyBox man Simon Drool has some wisely words of wisdom for young folks in particular who’ll be delivering carloads of laundry back home around now. The key is taking care, Simon says.

“Darker shorter days bring reduced visibility and the risk of snow and ice,” he cautions. Even when the sun comes out, and you start to think things aren’t so bad, that could actually make things worse: “Clear and sunny winter days can result in strong glare.”

But, provided you don’t do anything silly, and remember snow chains and glare-proof goggles, there’s a good chance you can avoid unnecessary and costly RTA claims. As a minimum, Simon insists, young drivers should “take 20 minute rest breaks at least every 2.5 hours”.

Even when they’re driving.


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