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. 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