Last year, the images of tailbacks on the motorway, orange arc-sodium reflecting off pelting snow, set against the backdrop of pitch night, pairs of red tailights intermittently broken with flashing amber hazards, heading into the distance as far as the blizzard would allow start to ring true once more as we approach the shortest day.
In those circumstances, it doesn’t matter how good your car or van insurance policy is, when the snow has come from nowhere and traffic is at a standstill miles behind and in front of you, you’re going nowhere. All you can do is phone your partner, let them know you’ll be spending the night on whichever of the three lanes of the motorway you’re marooned on, get the survival kit out of the back of the van and settle down for the night.
It is safe to say, UK winters can be unpredictable. You can set out to work in bright blue skies on a cool December morning; by the time you’re heading home, you can be trudging through 8 to 12 inches of snow. Other than ensure you van insurance policy incorporates breakdown cover, providing you can be reached, the next best thing you can do is get yourself prepared with a winter survival pack.
There are many on the market, but one of the most comprehensive is the Winter Car Kit, available in intermediate and deluxe versions, available from survivalbox.com. It is called the car kit but is aimed at the safety of the driver in inclement conditions, not the type of vehicle driven.
If you do get stuck on the motorway this winter, this could be one of the best £100 you’ll consider you’ve ever spent. Here are the basic components in the intermediate pack (Deluxe extras in brackets), other than your basic food stuffs, blanket and a bottle of water, which you should be carrying as a matter of course:
- a choice or red, yellow or green ‘chemical’ light stick which will remain illuminated for up to 12 hours and an LED torch
- Hi-vis sleeveless jacket with reflective strip
- Foil blanket and sleeping bag (extra sleeping bag in Deluxe pack)
- 4 x 125ml long-life water & hi-energy food (2 x self-heating meals in Deluxe pack)
- Ice scraper (folding spade in Deluxe pack)
- Pack of card and heater pack
- Wind- and waterproof matches
- Extremely voluminous whistle (wind-up radio in Deluxe pack)
- First aid kit (multi-function pocket knife in Deluxe edition)
The inclusion of this kit, like taking the time and effort to pay to have your logo on the side of your van, may not physically improve your driving skills but will show your broker that you are serious about your role as a professional driver when you come to look for cheap van insurance next time around.