Take extra care driving in Baltic Britain

What is happening to our Fair Isle? The summer barely shows its face and now, it appears, our winters have turned Baltic. The trouble is, when any so called extreme weather hits Britain we are never in a position to deal with it. Insurance companies ask that you do not drive unless you have to, and if you do have an accident whilst on the commute into work, they take the view that it is at your own risk. Well for many of the UK’s van drivers, their van is their livelihood, and the inability to drive can have dire consequences for their business. However, if you do have an accident it can prove expensive, as any resulting insurance claim can affect your no claims bonus which has of course, taken such a long time to build up.

If you have to drive your van in the snow and ice for the sake of your business, then here are our top tips on how this should be done:

  • If your vehicle skids, do not hit the brakes! Ease off the accelerator and steer lightly into the direction of the skid until you regain control. Turn the wheel steadily as anything erratic will simply make the matter worse.
  • Black ice is incredibly dangerous for motorists. It is formed when there has been a sharp frost overnight and often lingers in shadows cast on the roads. Beneath trees and buildings are typical areas affected and due to their location, these can remain in place even on a sunny day.
  • The first fall of snow is especially dangerous as this often comes before the roads have been gritted. Snow overnight which falls on a road and becomes compacted and frozen demands great care and attention. Ungritted roads can become impassable and even those gritted can still be treacherous and require caution.
  • When driving in snow and ice always leave at least ten seconds between you and the vehicle ahead.
  • Keep your windscreen and windows clear. We’ve all done it. You’re in a bit of a rush, so you partially clear the car and set off only to find your car is icing up again or that you can’t see clearly out of the side windows, making pulling out at junctions extremely dangerous.
  • Ensure your vehicle is well maintained. Make sure you plan your route carefully and check the forecast to see which areas have been worst affected.
  • Keep your petrol well stocked up. There may be lengthy diversions in place with roads too treacherous to pass or broken down vehicles blocking the way.
  • If you get stuck in the snow do not continue to spin your wheels as this will make the situation worse. At this stage the preparation you made before the journey is all important. You need something to improve the traction, so if you have some old carpet or a rug in the back of the van, or some sand and gravel, place these around the wheels and traction will be radically improved. You can also shovel snow out from in front of the van and away from the wheels to leave a clear path.
  • It is also a good idea to keep an emergency kit should the worst happen. This bare minimum that should be included are a torch, blanket and warning triangle.

To ensure you don’t have to make a claim on your van insurance make sure you are prepared for the conditions. Here at Van Compare we supply cheap van insurance; we want it to stay this way so you don’t have to risk your no claims bonus by making any unnecessary claims.

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