November 22, 2011 19:00 ET

Winter Proof Your Driving Urges Swinton Commercial

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Nov. 22, 2011) - With the temperature finally showing signs of dropping, Swinton Commercial, the UK's leading cheap van insurance broker is offering van drivers helpful tips and advice on the best ways to drive safely during the winter months.

Downpours of rain, sleet, hail and even snow, mixed with strong winds and a blinding winter sun, can make winter driving a stressful and dangerous time even for the most experienced of drivers.

Van drivers tend to spend more time on the road and therefore are more at risk of breaking down or being involved in a road accident.

To minimise the risk of road accidents, Swinton Commercial has some simple tips and advice for van drivers to help ease the stress of winter driving:

  • Double the space between your van and the vehicle in front – if you need to break on a slippery road surface, your van will require a longer stopping distance

  • If your budget will stretch, think about installing winter tyres on your van such as Goodyear's UltraGrip 8 tyres which offer 41% better lateral grip on the snow and 6% better resistance to aquaplaning*

  • Stay in a higher gear on slippery or wet surfaces – this will give you better control of your vehicle

  • In conditions such as snow, hail or rain, use dipped headlights to maximise visibility of your vehicle to other drivers on the road

  • Ensure you have sufficient levels of screenwash – snow, ice and grit from winter roads are likely to make your windscreen dirty and can reduce visibility

  • Break slowly and steer gently – this will reduce the chances of your vehicle skidding

  • Have a pair of sunglasses to hand – the low winter sun can be blinding to all drivers

  • Always carry an emergency breakdown kit including a torch, blanket and food and drink supplies and shovel – if your van breaks down, it could be hours before assistance reaches you

Phil Moss, Commercial Vehicle Manager at Swinton said: "Winter roads can be treacherous for drivers, particularly for those driving heavy weighted or high sided vans. Simple steps must be taken to ensure van drivers are fully aware of the dangers, and that they are prepared in the event of a breakdown. Van drivers should do everything in their power to avoid the risk of a road accident this winter as this can have a significant impact on van insurance premiums."

*Compared to a Goodyear summer tyre, measured by TÜV SÜD Automotive in April 2011;

Tyre Size: 205/55R16; Test Car: Golf VI; Location: Papenburg (GE); Report nr: 76245861.

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 603 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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