Winter is coming
Your Drivers 2 minute briefing on Winter Driving
It’s that time of year when the leaves fall from the trees, the temperature drops, and the clocks have changed. Winter is here once again.
With these changes, do we then think about the activities we regularly carry out each day, and how the changes in the natural environment, the weather and time affect driving?
The Natural environment changes, leaves fall from the trees leaving roads and paths slippy without any grip. Ice forms in the frozen temperatures. Temperatures drop leaving us prone to the cold, and our vehicles to, prone to breakdown if we don’t maintain them. The clocks changed, when we drive to and from work, the pedestrian environment changed to, maybe more, or maybe less pedestrians at the sides of the roads.
Winter Driving needs more time:
· Plan the journey. Leave EAT’s and routes with line managers. Ensure you use the lone worker system. If driving privately, leave routes ad times, contact numbers with family and friends
· Ask if the journey is necessary? Maybe a telephone call would be ok, a Skype call. Could it be delayed?
· Could the journey be made by public transport? Bus/Train
o Fully charge your mobile phone (and take a in vehicle charger) – Use a SAT phone for remote areas
o Tool up. Better to have the tools and not use them, than not have the tools and need them
o Snow shovel. Torch. Tow rope. Wellington Boots. Warm clothing. A flask of soup/tea/coffee. A blanket. Hat and gloves.
· Prepare the vehicle. Complete your vehicle checks. All the lights work, reflectors and number plates clean? The windows are defrosted and free from ice and snow? The roof of the vehicle is clear of snow? (It slides forward when braking heavily)
o Petrol, Oil, Water, Electricals, Rubber, Environment, Damage (POWERED)
§ The Screen wash is full, at the correct concentrate for the temperature
· Tune into the local radio station and have the RDS switched, for the automatic travel updates.
· Check the weather for the area you plan to travel to.
· When driving, plan the drive out. No heavy braking, acceleration or steering. This loses traction and grip. Essential for staying on the road.
· Use the correct ‘drive’. You may have a 2WD or 4WD vehicle. Hi or Lo? Selecting the correct drive for the different conditions will help. Consult your owner’s manual.
· Slow down. Driving to quickly into water and puddles may cause you to aquaplane. Losing the grip between your tyres and the road. Always drive to the conditions and be able to stop in the distance you can see to be clear ahead.