Safe winter driving tips for all van drivers
- Created: 23 November 2017
Winter is on its way, and it's important for van drivers to be prepared for all of the hazards that the cold weather may throw at them.
Of course, safe driving is a must all year round, but in the autumn and winter months there are a few unique risks that drivers will need to be extra cautious of so they do not end up in an accident and find themselves having to make a claim.
Below are a few things to be mindful of when driving in winter.
Tyres – First of all, you must make sure your tyres are in good condition and inflated to the correct pressure. You also need to make sure they have enough tread depth. Worn down tyres with hardly any tread are always dangerous, which is why you should always make regular checks throughout the year. However, in the winter, where the surface of the road is far likelier to be icy, the risk is amplified. It is illegal to have tyres with a tread depth less than 1.6mm, but in the colder conditions, a minimum of 3mm of tread is strongly recommended.
Brakes – Icy roads mean less friction, which is why it's crucial for your brakes to be in top working order. If you're at all concerned, you can bring your vehicle into the garage to have your brake pads tested.
Visibility – This may go without saying, but you must make sure you can see clearly throughout your windows and windscreen. With the lack of daylight in winter and potential for fog, Mother Nature has already made it trickier to see without having misted up windows, so make sure your demister is functioning and wipe down your windows. As for your windscreen, make sure your wipers are working properly and that your washer fluid is topped up. An ice scraper is also essential for all those frosty mornings.
It's also likely for your headlights to get smeared with mud and dirt. As you'll be relying heavily on your headlights, you should take the time to wipe them down every day before you set off.
As you're running a business, it's understandable that time is precious and you are in a rush to get going, but you must leave yourself some extra time to before setting off so you can do all the necessary demisting and cleaning.
Fuel – Keeping your tank full will help give you more traction by adding weight to your van. What's more, not having a full tank increases your van's chances of suffering a frozen fuel line, leaving you with a vehicle that won't start and a disrupted business.
Speaking of van's freezing over, does your vehicle have enough antifreeze? Antifreeze will help stop winter doing damage to your engine, but you need to make sure you put the right amount in. Your vehicle's manual should tell you the best type to use and how much of it you should be using.
As a tradesman relying on your van, you are no doubt used to making numerous vehicle safety checks, so taking the time to make certain of all of the above should be no problem at all.
And the last thing you need check you're equipped with? Yes, you guessed it: reliable van insurance.
Whatever the season, accidents can happen at any time, even to the best of drivers. No driver wants to be involved in an accident, but when your business relies on your vehicle, the consequences of an accident can be even greater. That's why, to give yourself peace of mind, picking out the right van insurance is essential. Offering cheap van insurance for young drivers as well as tailored insurance for all types of van drivers, Ivan can find the right quote for you.