Cold weather driving tips to keep your van mobile this winter
As temperatures throughout the UK continue to drop toward freezing, driving a van can become quite the challenge. It’s no secret that the number of accidents spikes throughout the winter season. Snow and ice present another issue that drivers need to address, especially those with vans. Whether you’re a veteran of the road or not, even the best new van deals with obstacles throughout the harsh UK winter, so here are five driving tips that’ll help keep your van mobile this winter.
Plan your route
When winter descends, certain roads will naturally become more hazardous than others, especially when exposed to snow and ice. Country roads, residential streets and other narrow roads may not be sufficiently gritted, which means can open you up to the risk of sliding or skidding. Motorways and main roads are more likely to be continually gritted (but obviously they can be dangerous for other reasons!).
Planning your route involves accounting for different dangers on different roads, and making key decisions as to which ones pose the most manageable risks to your van. The high speeds and impatience of those on motorways might well pose less of a danger than the built-up ice on rural roads, or vice versa. There are no easy answers unfortunately – ultimately, all that’s up to you!
Check your fuel
In extremely cold temperatures, cars and vans tend to consume more to maintain enough energy to keep going – they’re much like humans in that regard! Vans in particular consume more fuel throughout cold weather, so it’s worth taking extra care to ensure that your fuel meter never runs too low. The last thing anyone wants is to come to a complete stop, and this is even truer during a cold or stormy night.
Make sure you have clear visibility
It is actually against the law to drive a vehicle if you can’t clearly see through each window. That’s why allowing extra time in your journey is so important – don’t be tempted to set off before you’ve scraped all snow and ice is scraped off your van ! This is not only true for the windows, as snow on the roof of your van can fall and reduce your visibility. Plus, as nightfall comes earlier into the day, it becomes increasingly important to make use of your dipped headlights. As streetlights often don’t operate at full power until later on into the evening, your vision may be obscured if you don’t use your dipped headlights.
Give yourself and other drivers room
Even if you feel comfortable navigating your van on an icy road, fellow drivers may not feel the same. You can only control your own vehicle, and giving other drivers plenty of room can go a long way in preventing accidents. Stopping distances can be up to 10 times larger on icy roads, and heavier vehicles like vans take even longer than cars, so ensuring that there is at least two or three car lengths of space between your van and the next vehicle ensures that you can always maintain complete peace of mind!
An accident or emergency is, of course, the worst-case scenario, but having the necessary preparations established before your journey can offer you a great sense of mind for your journeys. If you have to make an emergency stop or your van breaks down, it will get cold fast. Therefore, before you set off on a long journey, you should ensure that you have the following:
- Fully charged phone
- Back-up charger
- Blanket and/or heavy coat (ideally hi-vis)
- Food and drink
- Jump leads
Having access to all that will make waiting for roadside assistance as painless as possible, and things like jump leads could save you from having to wait too long at all.
And if you ever do have a prang in one of your vans – or for some other reason you decide it might need replacing – that’s exactly where we can help here at Van Discount. We provide a wide range of choice between vans from some of the world’s most prestigious manufacturers, including Ford, Citroen and Peugeot.
What’s more, we save our customers an average of 40% off the price of a new van, and with our in-house expertise and experience, we can even offer bespoke conversions for our customers. Feel free to take a look around our site, and if you’ve got any questions or advice, we’re just a phone call away on 01282 872 530!