From tip to toe of the UK, January has blown in more than a just a fresh start to the new year. From Cornwall to The Highlands, Britian has taken a lashing from gale-force winds, torrential rain and even snow in places.
For van- and truck-drivers nationwide, motorways and A roads – in fact, anywhere exposed to the driving winds – the usual delivery runs become perilous missions as the battle to remain upright on the road takes precedent.
The storms have put not only drivers on alert but also truck and van insurance brokers as they expect a wave of claims in light of recent events.
Likewise, with thousands of households being left without power, trees being ripped out of the ground by their roots and unforgiving winds tearing walls down literally brick by brick, insurance call centres all across the country are on standby for a barrage of calls today as home-owners lodge claims for compensation.
Unfortunately, two commercial vehicle drivers suffered the worst possible fate as Britain was held to ransom in the unabating conditions.
One driver from Kent was crushed as a tree fell onto his van after being blown over by the gales and, also in the south of England, in Dorset, a truck driver was pinioned beneath his lorry as a freak gust blew over his vehicle.
Scotland’s two major airports, Glasgow and Edinburgh, had to periodically close during the day. Reminiscent of the beginning of last year, Scotland again seemed to be on the wrong of the stick as the weather was unrelenting.
We all remember hard pressed politicians north of the border last year being interviewed against the backdrop of snowbound motorways attempting to appease the public by stating that the services were doing all that they could in the face of unprecedented conditions. After the lashings and heavy snowfall already this week, one really does fear the worst again this year.
With flood warnings being posted all across the British Isles and winds whistling through every nook and cranny showing no signs of letting up, it is critial for drivers who have to take to the road to be prepared for every eventuality.
At the very least, take blankets and extra food and water out on the road for every trip you have to make. Better advice is to invest in a survival kit, such as as those mentioned in our article – A man, a van, a winter plan. For the outlay, you will think it a cheap investment should you ever have cause to use it.
And, as always, ensure that your van insurance policy incorporates every eventuality for winter driving, especially breakdown cover if you’ve not taken it out separately – it can be painful enough driving through a UK winter, without having to pick up a bill due to lack of appropriate cover.
Be careful, drive safe.