Fleets advised to gear-up early for potentially hazardous winter driving
Before any journey, and particularly ahead of long distance trips, drivers should check tyre pressure, car lights, petrol and oil levels, but also look over the vehicle’s windscreen for scratches or cracks. The combination of cold driving conditions and warm heaters creates stress on the windscreen, causing chips to crack, leading to avoidable time off the road.
Jeremy Rochfort, National Sales manager at Autoglass, said: ‘Checking the windscreen should be an essential part of every driver’s safety routine, especially during the winter months when driving conditions can become dangerous. People don’t realise, but the windscreen provides up to 30 per cent of a car’s structural strength and is critical in supporting airbag deployment. The poor weather conditions mean that there is a greater danger of windscreen damage, and we want drivers to be as safe as possible this winter.’
Autoglass has outlined five tips for fleet vehicle checks this winter:
1. Use a good screen scraper to remove ice, don’t use credit cards or CD cases which can cause scratches, leading to poor visibility in bad weather.
2. Replace the battery if its not reliable, a flat or failing battery is the biggest cause of car breakdown.
3. Regularly checking fluid levels can make your car run smoother and ensuring car lights are working is also crucial to maintain visibility.
4. As the average temperature drops, so will tyre pressures, and worn tyres also impact breaking ability in poor weather conditions – so drivers should check these regularly.
5. Regular fleet maintenance can help vehicles’ critical components last longer.
‘It is the responsibility of both the driver and fleet manager to ensure all the necessary precautions are taken and that vehicles are well equipped for winter weather. Making these simple checks will ensure drivers stay safe on the roads this winter, reducing the time spent off the road, therefore having a positive effect on overall costs of fleet operations,’ he added.