Climate change experts are predicting that Winter 2020 will be one of the coldest that the UK has experienced in 30 years.
This cold snap means that HGV drivers need to be prepared to tackle some very tricky road conditions. Here’s what to expect when it comes to driving in the winter:
Your journey will be longer
When roads are icy, HGV drivers need to significantly increase their braking distance, to at least ten times the normal amount. It’s a good idea to give yourself more time than usual to complete your journey. This will ensure you’re maintaining a speed that keeps you safe, as well as reduce the possibility that you’ll need to brake suddenly. You should also get into the habit of regularly checking the traffic news, as driving conditions during the winter are constantly changing.
You may get stranded
Even with the best journey planning, conditions can dramatically change once you’re already on the road. If the snow suddenly gets heavy, you could find that your vehicle becomes completely stuck. Getting stranded in the snow is always a possibility, so make sure you have the right provisions – shovel, food and drink, and a blanket – in the cab with you. Also, don’t forget your phone charger; you don’t want to be stuck in the cold with no means of communication.
There will be hazards
Even if you’re taking great care while driving in the winter, you need to remember that not all other road users will be doing the same thing. According to the road safety charity Brake, just 23 per cent of drivers are aware of how much distance they need to leave between them and the vehicle in front during poor weather. Be extra aware of other road users during the winter, especially at junctions and when overtaking, and always anticipate the unexpected!