Drivers are being warned to prepare for the worst road conditions in decades as harsh winter weather combine with road maintenance budget cuts to cause havoc for UK roads. Leading fuel card reseller, The Fuelcard Company, is urging drivers to plan ahead by investing in winter tyres and ensuring they know how to drive safety in ice and snow, after last year’s bad weather took many motorists unawares.
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.
Jakes de Kock, Sales and Marketing Director at The Fuelcard Company, said: “Severe weather conditions can arise when least expected and can be extremely dangerous for motorists. Nine people die on UK roads every day and throughout winter the usual hazards of travelling treacherous routes are accentuated by bad driving conditions. Severe weather is not just about snow and ice, it includes darkness, rain, fog, strong winds, floods and dazzling sunshine too.
“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.”
Tips for Winter Driving
- Drive slowly in icy conditions even if the road looks to be clear. Black ice can be very deceptive
- Avoid braking too hard and too suddenly on icy surfaces
- Remain in as high a gear as possible to avoid wheelspin
- Be prepared for a break down and ensure you have warm clothes, breakdown service membership and a high-vis vest
- Let friends and family know which route you are taking and when to expect you
- Check tyres have plenty of tread before you leave (the legal minimum is 1.6mm)