The weather in the UK has not been all that good in recent weeks with torrential rain and high winds being a regular feature. It is these sorts of conditions that can cause problems for drivers of high-sided vehicles such as lorries, trucks and vans. Extra care should therefore be exercised in such unpleasant driving conditions when behind the wheel.
Statistically van drivers spend more time on the road than the average car driver because driving is their job and, therefore, they are at greater risk of having an accident or breaking down in severe weather conditions.
Below are a few suggestions that may reduce the risk of the driver of a van having an accident: –
- Always drive with your headlights on when it is raining and there is an overcast sky.
- Bearing in mind that your stopping time/distance in wet weather will be at least twice what it is in good weather maintain a sensible distance between your van and the vehicle in front.
- If your steering starts to get unresponsive that may be due to the volume of water reducing the grip of the tyres on the road. To help deal with this you could reduce your speed by taking your foot from the accelerator pedal and slow down gradually.
- When overtaking cyclists, pedestrians and motorbikes take an extra wide berth.
- Water has a detrimental effect on your brakes so if you have just gone through deep water you should test them as soon as it is safe to do so by gently braking. If they do not brake as effectively as normal, light pressure could be applied as you drive slowly along to help dry them out.
The Commercial Vehicle Manager of Swinton Vans, Phil Moss, stated: “Those driving heavy weighted or high sided vehicles are likely to be the most affected in this weather. We are urging drivers to follow our simple steps to be prepared and fully aware of the dangers they could face. Van drivers should do anything they can to avoid an accident in this weather as it will have a significant effect on van insurance premiums.”