Now that winter has taken hold, driving can be a bit more hazardous as the roads get cold and icy.
If you use your van for work, it’s important to take a few extra safety precautions at this time of year when your customers could need you for vital repairs in their homes.
Follow our top five winter driving tips to keep your business moving and your customers happy.
1. Is your journey necessary?
If the weather conditions are particularly bad, consider if you really need to make your journey.
Is it a job that can be put off until tomorrow? If it is, your customer will probably understand that you don’t want to put yourself in danger for a trip that can wait for another day.
2. Go equipped
If you decide you can’t put your journey off, make sure you’re ready for the bad weather, just in case you breakdown.
It’s a good idea to carry an emergency kit to keep you safe if anything happens.
Your emergency kit should include:
- Warm clothing – boots, gloves, and a hat
- A torch and some spare batteries
- A blanket
- Some first aid supplies
- Food and drink
3. Check your van
Make sure your van is well maintained throughout the winter so it’s got a better chance of standing up to the cold conditions.
To help keep your van running, remember to check:
- The battery is in good condition and fully charged.
- The washer bottles are filled up with screen wash.
- The tyres have good tread depth.
- The windscreen wipers work properly.
- The lights are all in full working order.
And don’t forget to carry an ice scraper with you.
4. Clear windscreen and lights
This one may sound obvious, but clear all the snow and ice from your windscreen and lights before you set off.
Just clearing a small peephole for you to see through isn’t enough and could even land you with a fine from the police.
It’s also worth clearing the snow from your van’s roof because it could fall onto your windscreen when you start moving and block your view.
5.Plan your route
If you know you’re going to be driving in difficult conditions, it can be useful to plan your route in advance.
Try to stick to major roads that are more likely to be gritted than smaller B-roads.
Give yourself plenty of time for your journey, including extra minutes for de-icing your van before you set off.