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Swinton Monsoon Motoring Mantra


Leading high street broker issues “Monsoon Motoring Mantra” to combat extreme weather dangers.

The increasing frequency of freak weather conditions in Britain has led to a rash of car accidents, and car insurance claims, caused by drivers failing to respond quickly to sudden downpours.

Leading high street car insurance broker, Swinton, is advising UK drivers, most of whom are not used to extreme weather conditions, to take extra care. The move comes as Swinton reports an 8 per cent rise in motor accident insurance claims during the recent round of deluges.

Monsoon-type rain is a particular problem, with sudden torrential downpours causing localised flooding and with it, a flood of claims. Gusting winds are also a problem at this time of year, bringing down trees and power lines.

Swinton believes that an increase in motor insurance claims is caused by motorists driving too quickly, and responding too slowly, to the sudden loss of visibility and the rapid build-up of road water during tropical downpours, resulting in minor accidents.
The Swinton warning echoes a similar call from researchers at Newcastle University in September, who said that extreme rainfall events have become more frequent and intense over a 40-year period in Britain. They said the examination of weather records from 1961-2000 proved further evidence of climate change occurring.
Swinton Marketing Director, Nick Bowyer, warned: “Monsoon rain conditions are now a reality in the UK. They can occur with frightening immediacy. Drivers must take more care when extreme weather conditions are forecast or occurring.

“We have seen a significant rise in minor accidents where we believe that the rain impaired stopping speeds and reaction times. The problem is that British drivers are not used to travelling in these sub-tropical conditions which unfortunately appear to be happening more frequently.”

Swinton has now produced a ”Monsoon Motoring Mantra”, which it is advising drivers to adhere to:

· Switch on headlights
· Check wipers are effective front and back
· Avoid overtaking
· Slow down, using a lower gear if appropriate
· Keep wing mirrors clean so that rain water drips clear
· Keep your mobile phone to hand
· Listen to weather updates
· Pack water-proof clothes in case of breakdown
· Ensure inside windscreens are grease-free and so they don’t steam up
· Plan unfamiliar routes and identify places to pull over such as service stations
· Make sure tyres are regularly checked for tread and pressure
· Stop vehicle in very poor visibility and apply hazard lights

In the last month alone torrential rain and heavy thunderstorms raged across the UK. Extensive flash flooding was reported across the regions, with Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Wales and the north west particularly badly hit. Two women had to be rescued from their cars after they became trapped in their vehicles because of flooding in east Devon.

About the Author: Swinton Colonnade is the biggest insurance broker on the high street, with branches covering 90% of the UK. Swinton Group was acquired by its parent company MMA Insurance in May 2001.

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