With the British winter approaching, we can expect to see more cold weather and plenty of rain. This makes driving conditions more dangerous, particularly in extreme conditions such as ice and snow. You may experience more breakdowns and road accidents due to lack of preparation for the weather. As an HGV driver, you can take extra precautions and make sure you know how to safely drive in bad weather conditions.
Here are some tips to help keep you safe this winter.
Not only does ice and snow make it more difficult to maintain control of your vehicle, fog, mist and rain can minimise your visibility making it much harder to drive safely. Keeping your vehicle at an appropriate speed will give you more reaction time should something go wrong. Statistics show that 22% of all road accidents are caused by bad weather and 11% of those are caused by high speed. It’s recommended that you don’t overuse the footbrake unless your vehicle is completely straight on the road. Otherwise, this may cause the truck to spin out of control.
Keep a safe distance
When driving on busy roads and the motorway, it’s important to stay a safe distance from vehicles in front of you. The stopping distance in wet conditions is twice the normal distance and, in icy conditions, it is almost ten times that. If you’re driving at 70mph, a large truck will take approximately 409 feet to come to a complete stop. Meaning that if an accident were to occur in front of you, or someone is driving dangerously, you will have a very slim chance of being able to stop in time.
How to prepare your truck
- Keep your tank topped up – The extra weight of a fuel tank helps provide more traction to your tyres. This is also helpful in case you break down as you can use the fuel to use your heater and keep you warm.
- Check your heater – As well as other essential checks, it’s smart to regularly check your heater because you don’t want to be cold when stuck in traffic jams or on long journeys.
- Top up your washer fluid – With bad weather comes dirty windscreens. All the rain, snow and sleet sprays up and makes your visibility poor. Keep your fluid topped up to give your screen a quick wash when needed.
- Check your tyre pressure – It’s a legal requirement to check to have your tyres at the correct pressure to ensure safety when driving on the roads. Underinflated tyres will be less effective at driving efficiently.
Transcare provides road transport engineering and complete truck maintenance to help you and your fleet get through the cold winter months. Whether you need truck repair, diagnosis or maintenance, Transcare is here to help. To learn more about our services, get in touch with our friendly team.