Continuing on with our campaign for safer roads in 2015, we are working hard to promote road safety. This week the Irish weather forecasting service, MET Eireann, has predicted that the cold snap we are experiencing could last longer and see more snowfall and icy roads.
As such, the following guide may be helpful for those drivers who have no experience of driving in snow and ice conditions. It will also serve as a reminder for those who were driving during the cold snaps over the last number of years.
The first bit of advice is – avoid travelling unless absolutely necessary – which will be of scant use to those whose job it is to drive. We understand that van drivers are normally on the road a lot for their jobs. The following however may be of some use:
- Prepare: Make sure all your windows are clear and your lights work. Clear the roof of snow, as you don’t want to be driving with snow falling and obstructing your vision – it’s not particularly aerodynamic either.
- Don’t drive too fast, but also not too slowly. Driving fast is obviously dangerous as you’ll have less traction in the snow, but driving slowly may risk you losing momentum all together leaving you stranded.
- When departing, be gentle and avoid harsh revving. A higher gear will help with control and avoid wheel spinning.
- Avoid your wheels from locking: If you need to stop, try and avoid using the brakes as they won’t work. Steer, keep your feet off the pedals and only use the brake if absolutely necessary.
- As you are driving in the snow, you will find that your stopping distance will be doubled or tripled. Keep your distance! Also, be aware of other van and car movements around you as other drivers may take erratic action if they are having trouble driving in the conditions.
- Slow down on corners as they can be slippery. If you try and corner too quickly you will simply drift into a hedge, a wall or possibly oncoming traffic if you are unlucky.
- Tackle hills with respect or avoid them if possible. Use a high gear, and be vigilant.
- Keep a charged phone and make sure you do have a break down/recovery number to hand.
- Bring supplies and equipment to get yourself out of sticky situations. This may include snow chains, spades, rags (to place in front of wheels to get out of snowed in situations). It may be worth bringing a blanket too to keep warm!
- Ensure you have the necessary commercial vehicle insurance and that it provides you with breakdown cover too!
If you are in need of the proper commercial vehicle insurance you can contact our specialist van insurance team. They are train to help get van and commercial vehicle owners the best insurance for their needs at the lowest cost possible.
You can contact us today on 01 660 6900 or you can fill out our online van insurance quote form. Having the correct van or commercial vehicle insurance will help protect you in the unfortunate event that you do have an accident while driving over ice and snow.