Checklist for driving in winter – two

We recently looked into the decision-making process that every driver who is considering a journey in inclement conditions should go through in order to preserve their good driving history for no claims bonuses on their van insurance policy and, more importantly, themselves.

However, driving on thick ice, in heavy snow or dense fog does not always concern looking after number one. The moment you hit a patch of black ice, no matter how good the tread on your tyres, where you stop is largely out of your hands; if that happens to be a built-up area, the threat of pedestrian casualties is very real.

Irrespective of whether you have an all-singing, all dancing fully comprehensive van insurance policy that covers every eventuality or you opted for very cheap van insurance cover, it will never cover the cost of a lost love one, if the worst were to happen under your driving supervision.

think ‘van insurance renewal premium’ to drive safely this winter

In a follow-on from yesterday’s preparing to drive in the snow article, we now look at how to stay safe behind the wheel once the decision has been made to make that journey, despite the treacherous forecast.

• Visibility can be impaired when driving in hazardous weather; as such pedestrians and those on two wheels become more difficult to spot. Stay alert and mindful and drive with extra care as braking distances will increase indefinitely;
• Usual rules may still be legal, but are they practical? That sign may say 60mph, especially on country roads, but will you wheel-base cope with that corner you usually take at 45mph? Be aware that the game changes the minute tarmac and ice meld and steer in a gentle, controlled manner
• Wheels develop their own life-force; remaining in a high gear, but within safe driving speeds to suit skiddy conditions will reduce wheel spin, but drop through the box earlier when braking, to allow natural deceleration rather than sharply which will encourage wheel-lock, spinning and aqua-planing.
• Snow-moving and preparation vehicles present a danger in themselves, despite the subsequent good they do.

o Driving too close to a gritter is likely to result in a chipped windscreen as it flings rock-salt across the road; you may be covered fully comp, but hanging about in the snow waiting for your van insurance provider to arrange a call-out is hassle – and danger – you don’t need.
o Snowploughs are also a necessary evil – never try to overtake one as you have no idea what is in those vast piles of snow or how your van will react in attempting to negotiate a freshly-compacted mound!

All of these attributes should be common sense to those who have been driving their commercial vehicle for a time, but for recently-passed drivers, who may be having a taste of winter driving for the first time, it is no use claiming that you cannot find cheap van insurance for young drivers if you have a prang first time out having ignored all of the warning signs and lessons passed down from those who have been there, done it and got the extra-thick polo to show for it.

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