When freezing conditions descend on the UK, you and your car insurance policy probably breathe a sigh of relief when you see the road gritting vehicles start work.
Icy roads are always a worry if you have to continue using your car to get to college, university or work, since there’s a risk that your car could skid on the icy tarmac and you could be involved in an accident.
Not only could this result in you, a passenger, or another road user being injured, but it may cause you to lose your No Claims Discount and consequently receive more costly car insurance quotes when it comes to renewing your cover.
One way of reducing the risk of you losing control of your vehicle is, firstly, to drive more carefully, but, also, purchasing winter tyres, snow chains (which we recommend you get professionally fitted) or snow socks for your car is also likely to help. These items should help vehicles keep a better grip on the road, therefore reducing the possibility that you will skid on a patch of ice.
However, whether or not you use special tyres and other equipment, road gritters are still winter heroes for many motorists.
Road salt facts
Salt has 14,000 known uses and the oldest working rock salt mine in Britain can be found in Cheshire.
Salt melts ice, and stops water freezing at zero degrees Celsius, by making its melting point lower. This means that salt-treated roads require a much colder temperature before any standing water or precipitation will freeze upon it.
In 2010, the Highways Agency alone stated that it had 310,000 tonnes of rock salt ready for that year’s particularly harsh winter. (Seemingly impressive when you imagine that the blue whale, the largest inhabitant of Earth with a heart the size of a small car, weighs around 100 to 150 tonnes, on average.) However, due to the prolonged spell of cold weather across the country, many short-sighted councils almost ran out.