Driving in the winter can be a challenge for any motorist but for trucks and vans, there can be additional safety considerations. Here are some do’s and don’ts of winter driving:
DO plan ahead
Whether you drive for a living or not, always pick a route that will be clearer and less affected by adverse weather if you can. There are many online maps and apps that can advise you where traffic is bad or if a route is blocked due to an accident. If the weather is especially poor, be sensible and only travel if absolutely necessary.
DO watch your speed
When the weather is poor, remember you must increase your braking distance. The two second needs to be doubled in wet conditions but ten times greater when the roads are icy. Leaving a bigger gap is vital where roads are slippery, and tailgating should be avoided at all costs. Visibility is also reduced so match your speed to your visibility levels.
DON’T ignore road signs
Not only do you need to be fully aware of what other road users are doing but make sure you’re checking the information on road signs too. There can be important information warning you of what’s ahead and let you know what road surface conditions to expect. The will be telling you things like how steep a road is, what the speed limit is and what might be ahead – all crucial especially if you don’t know the area.
DO use your gadgets
If you have the technology to help you in all road conditions, then don’t be afraid to use it to make life easier. Technology like a Truck Camera to make it easy seeing obstacles behind you and helping to manoeuvre in tight spots and reversing. For more information, visit backwatch safety products
DON’T overlook faults
What you think is a small fault during good weather conditions can quickly become a major problem when the cold, dark nights arrive. A poorly charged battery, a crack in the windscreen or warning lights flashing on the dashboard shouldn’t be overlooked. There might be nothing wrong with your winter driving skills but a car with faults could breakdown or worse, cause an accident. Keep an eye on your tyres too.
DO be prepared for the cold
It’s easy to be comfortable in today’s modern vehicles when they come with heated seats, climate control and advanced safety features but what if the worst-case scenario happens, and you become stranded in the snow or stuck on a motorway for hours? Always make sure you have warm winter clothing to hand plus blankets and food provisions.