Get a quote
Home Tradesman Insights Staying Safe On Winter Roads This Christmas

Staying Safe On Winter Roads This Christmas

The festive season keeps tradespeople on the move between jobs in their home-away-from-home – their trusty vans. But with darker dawns, slippery surfaces and tiredness setting in, extra road risks emerge. Whether you’re delivering emergency plumbing repairs or transporting tools to sites, prepare properly and take care this Christmas. Follow these top tips to reach your destinations smoothly and safely.

Know Your Van’s Limits

Inspect your van thoroughly before each trip to ensure safe operation and handling: 

Fluid Levels + Lights

Thoroughly inspect all fluid reservoirs, bulbs, wipers and tires before journeys for damage. Top up screen wash with antifreeze formula for better cleaning.

Braking Distance

Test brake efficiency on empty roads ensuring vehicle weight or rain hasn’t expanded stopping distances. Leave ample margin to account for compromised grip.

Weight Distribution

Heavy loads affect stability. Check manual guidance and evenly distribute materials using roof racks. Secure all cargo firmly as dangerous shifts cause accidents.

De-Ice Thoroughly

Don’t just chip ice from windows. Fully clear all glass, ensuring 360 visibility before departing. Remember to de-ice roof panels too – falling sheets on motorways endanger other road users.

Stay Focused Behind The Wheel

Minimise distractions and adjust your driving for weather conditions to remain attentive:

Eyes Up, Phone Down 

Only handle devices when safely parked up. Even hands-free systems are distracting, so let calls go to voicemail while driving to avoid temptation.

Keep Distance In Wet Weather 

leave greater stopping gaps between vehicles when roads are wet for compromised traction. Expand the two-second rule to three or four seconds.

Schedule Regular Breaks

Don’t attempt long haul journeys when fatigued, especially after exhausting project work. Stop hourly to maintain concentration. 

Watch For Black Ice 

Approach glistening surfaces cautiously – they hide perilous black ice. Subtle signs like roadside snow indicate the possibility of freezing surface water.

Plan For Winter Worst Case Scenarios

Prepare emergency provisions and contacts in case you get stranded in harsh winter conditions: 

Have Escape Routes

When driving unfamiliar frost-ridden roads, research alternative paths in advance or use mapping apps should conditions deteriorate. But avoid distracted driving by staring at screens!

Prepare An Emergency Kit

Pack a safety bag containing a hi-vis vest, warning triangle, torch, warm layers, phone charger, high-protein snacks, bottled water and de-icer. All of these are winter essentials for stranded drivers.

Know Contacts By Heart

Save emergency numbers for breakdown services, employers and clients directly into your phone. Program ICE (In Case of Emergency) details too, adding next-of-kin able to help coordinate responses.

Don’t Take Risks 

Never attempt hazardous roadside manoeuvres alone to change tires or clear debris. Call assistance and wait safely inside vehicles away from speeding vehicles.

This block is currently empty. Please add some content.

Tradesman Talk

Have you required emergency assistance when driving over the hectic festive season before? Does your employer provide any special training for winter driving conditions? Share any hard-learned lessons on staying incident-free out there!

We wish everyone safe journeys delivering the best in home and business repairs this December. Make sure you wrap up on the roads and get home safely each day to your loved ones. Until next time, make sure it’s Tradesman Saver!

Darragh Timlin

With over 25 years’ experience, Darragh is an expert in all things insurance. Starting his career in commercial property underwriting, Darragh has worked for a number of global insurers and is now Managing Director of Tradesman Saver, part of the wider Henry Seymour Group.

All articles by Darragh Timlin

Leave a comment

This website is intended for customers based in the UK and is therefore subject to the UK regulatory regime(s) © Copyright 2024 Tradesman Saver | Tradesman Saver and Henry Seymour & Co. are trading names of Barkdene Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 303965) for our insurance distribution and credit broking activities. Barkdene Limited is a credit broker not a lender. You can check our financial services registration status on the Financial Services register.
Registered in England No 1842617. Registered Office – Chancery House, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, Surrey, SM1 1JB. All rights reserved.
Back To Top
You need to be logged in to Your Account to make a payment. Redirecting you to Account Login.