Well, hardly surprising in this weather, but van drivers up and down the country have been hitting the headlines this week for all the wrong reasons. A DPD driver up in Fordingbridge had to be rescued after his van got swept away by floods when the river burst its banks, (so if you’re expecting a parcel, you may not be getting it). Thankfully, locals were there to pull him to safety. Over in High Wycombe, a van driver was left with serious injuries after being hit by a suspected drug-driver. Meanwhile, in Norfolk, a van driver blamed a drug-induced coma for crashing into a parked car, before hitting the wall of a house before finally stopping when he’d ploughed into a church wall. Up in Scotland, another van driver finds himself in court after fatally wounding someone during Storm Dylan.
It’s not great on van drivers, is it? While we can’t really say anything about the drug user besides hoping he gets what he deserves, in this stormy weather, the chance of an accident it infinitely higher for us all, and if it’s your work and pay packet that’s at risk… when the weather is this bad, what’s the right thing to do?
Granted, nobody wants to be on the road when the wind is blowing and the rivers are bursting their banks all around us, but delivery drivers and tradesmen still have jobs to do. Staying home till it passes would leave many without work for more than the duration of the storm.
It all comes down to balancing the risk. Here are some things you can do.
- Check the weather forecast before you leave. Know what you’re going to be facing so you can be prepared.
- Check local news to find out about any floods or accidents. Social media is great for finding local incidents before the news picks them up.
- Stick to major roads where possible. Avoid back roads and country lanes where trees might be down and you’ll find yourself stuck.
- Plan your journey and let someone know your intended route. Check in regularly so they know where you’re at.
- Don’t travel when the storm is at its worst. If you’re late, you’re late. It’s better than the alternative.
- Be prepared. Take warm clothes, a phone charger, blankets and food and drink. If you get stuck, you’ll need it.
- Make sure your van is in good nick. Check tyre pressures, oil levels and that there’s nothing preventable that could go wrong. Check your breakdown kit is stocked and ready if needed.
- Fill up before each journey. That way, if you need extra fuel, it’s there.
We hope this is the last of the storms for the year, but, this is Britain, where snow in April isn’t unheard of, so be prepared for anything and stay safe.