ARE YOU WINTER ROAD READY?
Snow, ice, rain, it can get pretty hairy out there over winter. So to avoid a nightmare, check out the following winter driving tips and advice from fuelGenie, the fuel card company. Also don’t forget to plan ahead your refueling stops at places like Tesco Petrol Filling Station, as running out of fuel isn’t much fun either.
A dead battery is the number one reason for call-outs during the winter months. And battery life is reduced during the cold weather, especially with increased usage of heaters, headlights and windscreen wipers. So make sure you replace fleet batteries before the bad weather hits and keep checking them.
Windscreen wipers, in particular, are prone to damage with the extra miles clocked up by your drivers. So change them now, at the beginning of the wettest and darkest months.
Tyres and tread, you really must keep an eye on. Fleet vehicles carrying heavy loads can experience rapid decreases in tyre pressure, making them unpredictable and dangerous. Keep the pressure up, increase driver safety and extend tyre life. Once again, places like Tesco Petrol Filling Stations all have tyre pressure gauges for your use.
Tyre tread is crucial, too. Recommended tread depth for wet and icy roads is pretty much double the legal minimum – that’s 3mm instead of 1.5mm. So replace any worn ones now.
Headlights need to be bright and right. Dirt and road grip can significantly reduce the bulb’s effectiveness, especially when your fleet are driving long motorway distances every day. It’s a good idea to include headlight cleaning as part of your winter safety routine.
Just in case
Preparation preparation preparation! During the winter months, it’s worth investing in an emergency kit alongside other essential items in your vehicle. Most of these can be purchased at Tesco Petrol Filling Stations:
Anti-freeze and windscreen wash
First aid kit
Food and water
In-car mobile phone charger
Safe driving tips
In difficult conditions, it’s important to keep your wits about you and drive safely. If the forecast or conditions are really bad, only drive if absolutely necessary.
*Accelerate gently – use low revs and change up to a higher gear as quickly as possible. Moving off in second gear will help reduce wheel slip. Many automatics have a snow function that will do this for you.
*Keep your distance – anticipation is more important than ever in winter. Leave a longer distance between you and the car in front than normal, as stopping distances double in wet weather and increases tenfold on ice.
*If you skid – steer gently into it, not away from it. This will help regain traction faster.
*Avoid ice – if the road has not been gritted, be very wary. Compressed snow is likely to be icier than fresh snow too.
*Slow and smooth as you go – on the brakes, the steering, the accelerator and changing gear
*Glare – use polarized sunglasses if you’re especially sensitive to low winter sun on the snow
Make sure you plan in refueling stops on any long journey you undertake. Tesco Petrol Filling Stations can be found all over the UK and offer competitive fuel prices as well as food and snacks at main store prices.
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