Frosty conditions have hit Europe hard this winter and it looks like we are due another visit from the Beast From The East. Why will this affect cars being stolen?
Dealing with cold conditions is the last thing you want in the morning and it is tempting to leave the car running for a few minutes while you nip back inside to finish your coffee.
The UK police and indeed your insurers, however, will take a very dim view of this defrosting routine.
Police in Calgary, Alberta, reported five cars being stolen on Wednesday morning alone. The thieves watched as drivers left their cars running whilst defrosting. They then took their chance, and jumped in the cars and took off.
This video which was released this week shows a woman starting her 4×4 before stepping inside the house, unaware she is being watched.
Watch the footage below:
Despite the cold temperatures, it’s always best to remain with your vehicle. Cars being stolen whilst running, unlocked and unattended, will almost certainly result in the claim being refused by your insurer.
Furthermore, it is actually an offence under the Road Traffic Act to leave a vehicle idling whilst stationary and could result in a fine.
Winter is a brilliant time of year. With an emphasis on family, food, and good TV, it’s hard not to have a good time. However, there is no escaping one thing – It’s dark when you leave for work, and it’s dark again before you leave. Pretty mood-dampening. It is also due to this that around this time of year, many of us start to feel more vulnerable during the daily commute to and from work, given that it can be hard to see through the rain, fog, or snow – especially in the dark.
Safety and comfort should always be a priority here. So, we’ve put together a list of 5 must-have items for your daily commute this winter.
1) De-Icer Spray
Number one is De-Icer Spray because there is nothing worse than having to spend 10 minutes scraping ice off your car in the freezing cold when you’re already in a rush to get to work. This cheap item (around £2) is great to have around at all times because when you end up needing it, you will be so glad you have it. It not only saves you time but also makes the whole process a lot more bearable!
2) Ice Scraper
This is kind of a follow-on from the last one. Unfortunately, those cans of de-icer spray do not last infinitely. One day, they will run out just when you need them. It is annoying, but you absolutely need an ice scraper as a back-up. It isn’t pleasurable to do, but at least you will be able to see where you are driving!
3) Dash Camera
Due to the dark, and often poor weather conditions during the UK winter, the chances of having an accident increase by a massive 20%. With road accident rates already high, it is more important than ever to cover yourself while driving. A dash cam is a perfect way to do this.
By having a dash cam installed in your vehicle, any accidents you get into will have indisputable video evidence showing who was at fault. This is especially useful given the recent rise in fraudulent claims such as crash for cash and increased risk of accidents in winter.
A good quality camera is crucial to ensure the video quality is good enough to catch number plates and details in all levels of light, however, that does not mean it has to break the bank. With front and rear camera systems such as the Thinkware F200-2Ch, your vehicle can be fully covered with HD quality footage at all times, along with built-in WiFi, and optional GPS. See the Thinkware F200-2Ch here.
Alternatively, there are top-range dash cam systems such as the BlackVue DR970x-2Ch. With 4K recording from both the front and rear cameras, this is a very discreet, high-quality camera. The built-in GPS and WiFi allows a smartphone to be connected to the camera, allowing for easy and fast access to footage, to be played back, or downloaded which is ideal for keeping any valuable footage safe during your commute this winter. See the BlackVue DR970x-2ch here.
With professional installation, all wires will be hidden, and the camera will be hard-wired to the vehicle. This allows the use of parking mode, meaning your camera will be recording for hours after you have finished driving. Book your installation here.
4) Grippy Shoes
With the wet weather around these times, unsurprisingly, the ground is also wet. When walking to and from your vehicle, the sole of your shoes will inevitably get wet – making it easy for your feet to slip from the pedals. This reduces the control you have over the vehicle and is a road safety risk that is often forgotten about. So, it is best to pick yourself up some shoes with a lot of grip.
5) Spare Clothes
Sitting in damp clothes at work or in the car is enough to ruin anybody’s day. Instead of risking a soggy sock from stepping in a puddle while looking at your phone, bring some spare clothes – the essentials. You will likely save yourself from a miserable day or drive home.
Although the daily commute becomes a mindless activity for most people, it is important not to forget the risks there are, and the safety precautions which should be taken. By using a dash cam, you can feel secure in the knowledge that if anything does happen, you have the video evidence to show it.