As the weather turns increasingly colder and the Christmas holidays are nearing, drivers across the UK will be starting to plan their travel over the festive season. Planning routes can be a task in itself, let alone in the winter when the nights are getting darker and the roads may be busier.
Supermarket fuel card provider, fuelGenie, is urging business owners to make sure their drivers stay safe this winter. Following this, the company has put together its top tips for winter driving.
- Getting started – As the temperature drops, motorists can often experience problems when starting their car. More often than not, this can be a problem with the car battery itself. For employees who use their cars regularly for short trips, RAC recommends charging the battery at least once a week during winter months, especially if the vehicle is older than 3 years. Drivers can also avoid using heaters and heated screens and seats for longer than needed as they place extra strain on the battery.
- Route planning – Mapping out a route before travelling to check the best available option is obviously important. But, by using the RAC route planner, motorists can also calculate their mileage, view the weather forecast and stay up to date with any traffic news, making employees more efficient when traveling from job to job. Some trips can take twice or even three times as long compared with other times of the year, so it’s also crucial to set off in ample time.
- Stay tyre safe – RAC advises to use a higher gear to aid grip in ice, and to accelerate, brake, steer and change gear as smoothly as possible to reduce the risk of a skid. TyreSafe also recommends that drivers should carry out regular tyre checks throughout the winter, irrespective of whether they fit winter weather tyres or not.* Fleet operators should carry out these checks throughout the year, but even more so in the colder months.
- Getting stuck in the snow – If getting stuck in deep snow before setting off, it is advised to turn the wheels from side to side to lift the snow out of the way. Drivers should not attempt to keep moving if the wheels spin, as this can dig the vehicle in deeper. Sand or gravel can also be used in front of the wheels to help get traction. Shifting from forward to reverse with light pressure on the accelerator can also help in these conditions.
- Fill up on fuel – before leaving for work, those with a fuelGenie fuel card should check the fuelGenie website for the nearest available fuelGenie enabled filling station.
Robert Pieczka, Managing Director of fuelGenie, said: “Keeping your vehicle fleet regularly serviced and maintained throughout the winter can not only ensure that your vehicles are safe for the road, but also help to maintain the fuel efficiency as well.“