With the recent flooding across the UK, driving conditions have been greatly affected. Keeping on the road throughout the winter period is vital for many, but it is important that motorists are kept safe every time they get in their vehicle. With approximately half of all new vehicles registered last year for the fleet market, it is clear that for many, driving for work is essential.
The UK’s leading independent fleet solutions company, Days Fleet suggests a number of winter driving tips for dealing with extreme weather, designed to keep fleet drivers safely on the road during the harshest conditions.
First and foremost, decide if the trip is absolutely essential. If the work can be completed from home, it is safer to stay in than to take a risk on the road unnecessarily. Use traffic reports to avoid the worst hit areas where possible, and consider changing the time of travel to avoid congestion or forecasted changes in the weather.
Drive for the conditions
When faced with flooding, it is essential that the journey is planned carefully, if not avoided altogether. Always assess the conditions to establish how deep the flooding is, and if in doubt, turn around and find an alternative route. If the flooding is not too deep, drive through at a steady, low speed, keeping the revs high until the car is well clear of the water. Be careful not to stall the engine, as changing speed or stopping will greatly increase the risk of getting stuck.
In icy or snowy conditions, drive very smoothly and slow down gently by easing off the throttle and avoid harsh braking. Remember, braking distances on snow and ice will be greatly increased.
Invest in a winter care kit
Make sure to have a winter care kit on hand at all times to ensure that you are prepared for the worst of the weather. Essential equipment to have includes: an ice scraper, de-icer, an interior windscreen cloth, a small snow shovel, a high-vis jacket, a warning triangle, a torch, a warm winter coat, and – if the journey is long distance – food and drink.
Is your vehicle’s service overdue?
Cold weather places a huge strain on many elements of your vehicle, including the engine, electrical system and battery, as well as the gearbox. If your car is overdue a service it’s a good idea to get it booked in as soon as possible to identify any issues early and help to prevent any breakdowns.
“With vehicles being key for so many people’s livelihoods it is vital that motorists are prepared for every adverse weather condition over the next few months,” said Aled Williams, director of Days Fleet.