Volvo Offers A Safe Pair Of Hands For Fleets Ahead Of Wintry Driving Conditions.

03/12/2019

  • Volvo-trained technicians at local workshops can check and prepare fleet vehicles for winter driving.
  • Winter driving policies recommended to protect businesses and company car drivers.
  • Company car drivers can stay connected with Volvo On Call app.

As the UK braces itself for a harsh winter, Volvo Car UK is helping businesses and fleet managers prepare company car drivers and their vehicles, keeping them safe on the road whatever the weather brings.

Steve Beattie, Head of Business Sales at Volvo Car UK comments: “At our nationwide network of workshops, Volvo-trained technicians are on hand to help prepare company cars for winter, checking everything from the battery and braking system to the windscreen, wiper blades, bulbs and fluids. With this support, fleet managers have peace of mind that their drivers and vehicles are ready for challenging conditions.”

As well as the ‘winter-ready’ checks carried out by its specialist technicians, Volvo also recommends that businesses encourage their company car drivers to carry out their own regular maintenance checks on their vehicles. With snow, heavy rain and poor visibility expected across the country, it is more important than ever to check the condition and tread depth of tyres, keep headlights and windscreens clean and ensure oil, coolant, de-icer and screen wash are all topped up.

Tyres are arguably the most important thing to maintain for safe winter driving. Tyre tread must be checked regularly, not only due to legal requirements but because it can have a significant impact on stopping distances. Travelling at 70mph, with a tread of 1.6mm, the stopping distance will be 37metres longer than if the tyre tread is 3mm[1]. With potholes being an issue on most UK roads and wintry weather contributing to further deterioration, businesses should also encourage company car drivers to check for tyre damage such as bulges, cuts and foreign objects as well as uneven wear which could be caused by misalignment.

The use of winter tyres not only vastly extends the life of standard wheels, but also improves safety in snow, heavy rain and freezing conditions. Volvo recommends swapping tyres once the temperature dips below seven degrees so that drivers are ready for harsh conditions. Qualified technicians at Volvo workshops across the UK will also ensure vehicles are fitted with the right tyres and wheels, to provide safety and performance even in the most extreme winter conditions.

Visibility is another critical issue in poor weather conditions. Volvo’s headlight technology includes innovative LED headlights that are designed to improve visibility in all weathers. The LEDs are especially bright, and the lights automatically use high beam whenever possible, switching to low beam when they detect a vehicle in front.

The Volvo On Call app also helps drivers prepare their vehicle before the start of every journey by giving remote access to functions such as checking fuel and sending a destination directly to the navigation system. What’s more, Engine Remote Start, which allows drivers to pre-heat the cabin and clear the windscreen, is both a safety aid and a valuable time-saver. These features, as well as ensuring help is only ever the touch of a button away, bring comfort and assurance to winter journeys.

Steve Beattie concludes: “Businesses should remind their company car drivers to take journeys steady in poor conditions. If visibility is reduced or roads are extremely wet or at risk of being icy, unnecessary journeys should be avoided and those who do drive should be more cautious and avoid risky manoeuvres which could lead to skidding.

“We also always advise drivers to carry blankets, extra warm layers of clothing and food and drinks when the weather turns wintry, just in case they or other motorists and their passengers become stranded.”

Volvo Car UK top tips for helping fleet managers keep drivers safe on the road this winter

  • Prepare fleet vehicles for winter driving by booking into a local workshop where Volvo-trained technicians can check important points such as the battery, braking system, windscreen, wiper blades, bulbs and fluids.
  • Businesses should not put drivers under pressure to be in the office or at meetings in extreme weather, when driving conditions are unsafe.
  • As a minimum, fleet managers and businesses should provide drivers with a simple essential maintenance checklist to carry out each week, including tyre tread (minimum 3mm for wet and wintry conditions), wiper blade condition, cleanliness of headlights and all windows, levels of oil, coolant, screen wash and de-icer.
  • Remind fleet drivers to check their vehicle condition in daylight or a fully lit garage.
  • A winter driving policy should outline requirements for vehicle preparation and any equipment or procedures drivers must carry and adhere to during bad weather spells. Keeping fuel levels above a quarter of a tank should also be recommended in case of unexpected delays.
  • Remind drivers to take extra care when visibility drops at dusk, and to keep an eye on their speed on slippery roads since stopping distances can be 10 times longer.
  • Consider providing drivers with an emergency kit to keep in their car, including breakdown essentials such as a high-visibility vest, a blanket, torch and phone charger.
  • Install map updates on all fleet vehicles to ensure drivers are always using the best possible routes. This can be done quickly and easily online for models with Sensus Navigation. Alternatively, a local Volvo workshop can install the latest map updates.

Dealer.com code: bf92d4d1c6982386a4b793b7f30406120c2d5695|118705|1