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Fuel Card Blog Updates: Motorists shun winter driving advice

Despite the blanket of thick fog covering the UK today we were stunned by the vast number of drivers taking risks on our drive into The Fuelcard Company offices this morning. You would think that overtaking at 60mph on a single carriageway road when it is impossible to see more 20 yards in front would be widely acknowledged as a dangerous manoeuvre – not according to the four drivers that did just that this morning.

And then there are the motorists that have forgotten how to turn their headlights on, so they suddenly emerge out of the fog five feet in front of you, giving you a heart attack. Thanks for that…

We live in a country where rain, fog and snow are a staple part of the British winter and yet, shockingly, a large majority of motorists still do not know how to drive in winter weather. Only two days ago 52 vehicles were involved in motorway pile-up caused by fog, which should be a warning to all of us to be careful in difficult driving conditions.

So, appropriately, The Fuelcard Company has issued its winter driving tips this week – and not before time considering the death-defying journey we had into work this morning. With weather forecasters predicting another harsh winter and road maintenance budgets being axed, it is even more important that drivers know how to get themselves safety from A to B this winter.

A recent poll found that 80 percent of local councils had experienced a road maintenance budget reduction, prompting concerns that road conditions will deteriorate even further this winter adding to drivers’ woes. Around 20 percent of councils said they have been prioritising short-term fixes over permanent long-term solutions.

So, the result? Even more potholes lurking beneath the snow just waiting to throw you unexpectedly across the road and destroy your suspension. Fantastic.

Although there’s not a lot we can do to fix the deteriorating road network, (aside from constant lobbying which, rest assured, we are continuing to pursue!) we can give you some tips on how to cope with difficult driving conditions.

Jakes de Kock, Sales and Marketing Director at The Fuelcard Company, said:  “During winter months, motoring requires special care and a little preparation if drivers are to avoid a breakdown or accident. It is essential that drivers are prepared for such hazards before setting out on any journey. Regular maintenance of vehicles is also more important at this time of year as ‘The AA’ reports the number of breakdowns nearly doubles during particularly cold spells which can cause valuable lost hours to business.”

It really isn’t rocket science – simply slow down, stay in as high a gear as possible when driving in snow and ice and most importantly be vigilant.

Our top tips are below to help you stay safe this winter.

  1. Drive slowly in icy conditions even if the road looks to be clear. Black ice can be very deceptive
  2. Avoid braking too hard and too suddenly on icy surfaces
  3. Remain in as high a gear as possible to avoid wheelspin
  4. Be prepared for a break down and ensure you have warm clothes, breakdown service membership and a high-vis vest
  5. Let friends and family know which route you are taking and when to expect you
  6. Check tyres have plenty of tread before you leave (the legal minimum is 1.6mm)
  7. Diesel drivers should also leave their engines running for ten minutes before setting off, to let engine heat warm the fuel, filter and pipes.



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Nov 29, 2011
7:55 pm

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