In the UK clocks go forward 1 hour at 1 AM on the last Sunday in March for British Summer Time (BST) and then return back 1 hour at 2 AM on the last Sunday in October. When clocks go back, the UK is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). As a reminder to all drivers to adjust their vehicle clock settings, this occurs on Sunday 28 October.
After we set the clocks back and approach the winter months, it’s important that your vehicles and employees are prepared for driving in hazardous conditions that can significantly reduce tyre traction and driver visibility, particularly if you have concerns about your driver’s eyesight and the impact that Cassie’s Law could have on your team.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) recommends that employers produce a winter driving policy outlining the importance of careful driving and vehicle maintenance. But above all, one key message to communicate this winter should be, does the journey need to be made at all? In the poorest conditions, drivers would be better off staying off the roads completely in order to reduce any risks to your business, your staff and other road users.
For many businesses however, where driving is a part of main operations, this is not always possible. Therefore, if a driver should find themselves on the road then they should take extra care when travelling in difficult conditions.
Here are some of our winter driving tips to help you and your drivers stay safe:
- Always ensure windscreens are clean, clear and have been demisted before starting your journey.
- Drivers should leave extra travelling time in the winter to account for delays and avoiding the need to rush which would increase the chances of an accident
- They should drive in the highest gear possible and consider pulling off in second gear, rather than first if they find themselves struggling for grip in wet or icy conditions.
- When slowing down drivers should try to use their gears as much as possible to avoid locking their brakes and skidding.
Alongside careful driving, vehicle maintenance is also vital to ensure that drivers are as safe as possible when on the road:
- Antifreeze– Antifreeze and coolant levels need to be checked regularly. It’s important to maintain the correct levels to ensure the engine continues to start when the temperature drops.
- Fuel– it’s recommended that drivers try to keep a minimum of a quarter of a fuel tank at all times during the winter. Things like running the heaters will burn more fuel than normal. It is also likely that you may be stuck in long delays which prevent you from finding a petrol station.
- Lights– it’s important to check that the lights on a car are still bright and clear, also check that all indicators and fog lights work and are clean.
- Tyres– A safe tyre depth is at least 3mm in order to give sufficient grip. The cold temperatures will also cause your tyre pressures to drop so be sure to check them every two-three weeks.
- Windscreen– be aware of any chips you have in your windscreen and get them checked as ice can cause the cracks to spread. This is also a good time to have your windscreen wipers checked.
- Screen wash– screen wash not only helps to keep your windscreen clear, but it also will help prevent it freezing.
- Winter Supplies– drivers need to be prepared for a break down even with all of these checks. Drivers should, therefore, carry the relevant supplies in their vehicle with them. These may include; a blanket, a warm coat, gloves, water, snacks, a wind-up torch and a phone charger.
Keep your drivers save on the road with a winter driving policy. Contact your account manager or email us directly to discuss your business requirements.