The thaw that so quickly replaced snowstorm and cold, as usual, has brought additional threats to pedestrians and car drivers alike. The statistics of BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS (hereinafter – BTA) indicates that it was particularly the days of thaw in previous years that the number of claims reported in personal accident insurance has leapt by at least 25%.
BTA Baltic Insurance Risks Underwriting Department Director Ivo Danče, having analysed the most often occurring personal accident types, makes suggestions – what are those things to be particularly cautious of during thaw and what should be focused on.
Walk and climb carefully
One of the most frequent causes of injuries still is slippery streets and takas. The temperature in the days to come is expected to be around 0 degrees Celsius, which are ideal conditions for formation of icy surfaces. Particularly slippery can be tiled stairs of buildings and streets, which are regularly splashed by water the passing by cars. Therefore, you should be twice as cautions even when walking well-known places. You should always hold one hand on the handrail while climbing the stairs. When observing a shining, trampled surface on the street, it is better to step aside and walk this distance through snow. Selecting appropriate footwear with a sole of material and protector suitable for winter is also a very good idea.
Although this winter has not been rich in snow so far, the Wednesday’s snowstorm has built snowdrifts on roofs, large enough to turn into icicles in thaw. Walking sidewalks in urban areas, you should have a look where you put your feet, as well as have glance up to check building rooftops. It is better to keep a respectful distance from places large heaps of snow or icicles along roof edges.
Car drivers should also give more consideration to where they leave their cars. If possible, they should not be left close to buildings with uncleaned roofs. Snow and ice falling from rooftops damage dozens of cars during thaw each year.
Keep distance and avoid puddles
Tyre compressed snow on relatively lesser used roads fills up and levels potholes, but they reappear during thaw again and often they are pounded yet bigger. Therefore car drivers should try to make around large puddles, as you never know what is hiding beneath the layer of water. Punctured tyres in potholes during thaw is one of the most often occurring causes of car damage.
Even when a road seems to be clean, one should be cautious of black frost. Asphalt is dry in cold weather, whereas in thaw it is covered by a thin layer of water from the thawing snow that freezes during night time. To avoid trouble, the universal thing is to select appropriate safe driving speed and keep enough distance.
More attention to children
The few snowy and cold weeks are enough for children to get used to the fact that they can go skating on ice of frozen water bodies or extend their sled race from a hill over frozen-up ditches or ponds. The layer of ice keeps quickly thinning during thaw and not always is able to sustain the weight than winter fans would wish for. Breaking into ice leads to injuries, as well as getting soaked and serious colds, as well as even more severe outcome. We suggest parents as well as children to be very careful in the vicinity of water bodies and keep an eye on each other.
Beware of uncleaned cars
Car bonnets during cold weather accumulate powdery snow, which is easily blown away by wind to no one’s harm when driving, whereas during the time of thaw it turns into clumps of snow and ice. In case such an icy clump gets torn off by wing from a car’s roof, it may smash the windshield of the car coming from the rear, causing road accident.
Seeing a car with an uncleaned roof, to include lorries with tents, rear car drivers are advised to keep reasonable distance. It should be as much as a couple of hundred metres on the highway.
BTA Baltic Insurance Company is one of the leading insurance companies in the Baltics, offering the broadest range of non-life insurance services in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. BTA employs more than 1 000 employees in the Baltics. The largest shareholder of BTA is Vienna Insurance Group AG with 200 years of experience in the insurance industry. More than 50 companies in 25 countries constitute the group, which employs 25,000 employees. Vienna Insurance Group AG is a clear leader in its core markets in Europe maintaining high rating of financial stability – Standard & Poor’s A+ (stable outlook), with a listing on the Vienna and the Prague Stock Exchange.
Marketing and Public Relations Department Director
BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS