December 27, 2009 19:00 ET

Van Drivers Given Winter Driving Warning

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Dec. 27, 2009) - Van drivers are being warned about the treacherous road conditions after heavy snowfall hit the UK this week.

Swinton, the UK's leading high street retailer of van insurance, is recommending van drivers keep an emergency kit in the back of their vehicle in case of an accident or breakdown. The kit should include a fully charged mobile phone, ice scraper and de-icer, torch, warm clothes, blanket, a pair of boots, first-aid kit, battery jump leads and a snow shovel.

Swinton is also offering the following winter driving tips for van drivers:

- Make sure the van is in tip top condition by booking it in for a winter service

- Check oil and water are and the correct levels and pay particular attention to oil as it can become thicker in colder temperatures

- Only travel if absolutely necessary

- Stick to major roads that are more likely to be gritted

- Beware of black ice in the snow and if you do start to skid pump your breaks and steer in the direction of the skid

- Wear sunglasses to protect eyes from the glare of low lying winter sun

- Don't be afraid to turn back if the conditions are too treacherous

Phil Moss, Commercial Vehicle Manager at Swinton, said: "Van drivers spend a lot of time on the road because of their work so it is vital they are prepared for the weather when it turns nasty. Driving during the winter can be extremely dangerous and can increase the chance of an accident and subsequent van insurance claims."

About Swinton

- Swinton Commercial is the dedicated commercial insurance division of the Swinton Group

- Swinton Commercial was awarded Commercial Lines Broker of the Year 2008 and is a finalist at the British Insurer Awards 2009

- With 580 branches nationwide Swinton is the UK's largest high street insurance retailer

- Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and part of the community

- Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of its clients, offering home, car, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike and even classic car insurance

- With a dedicated team of advisors on hand at every branch to search a panel of insurers to offer quality cover at competitive rates

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