With winter in full swing, storms Abigail, Barney, Clodagh, Desmond and Eve have already wreaked their havoc upon the UK.
In order to remain as safe as possible when out and about in storm season, VW Commercial is advising customers to check their tyres.
Winter brings dangerous driving conditions, with wet, icy or even just cold roads reducing the available surface friction. Tyres that are not in good condition make matters even worse, so it's vital to ensure that your tread depth and tyre pressures are appropriate to the conditions.
Reseach for TyreSafe has revealed that one in five drivers has never checked their tyres, so Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has issued a checklist to help businesses this winter:
Check the tread
During winter months, minimum tread depth should be 3mm - nearly double the legal minimum limit of 1.6mm. Deeper tread deals with surface water and snow better, and a tyre close to the legal limit can take considerably longer to slow the vehicle down. A simple way to check your tread depth is to insert a 20p coin in the tread of the tyre; if you cannot see the outer band then your tyres are above the legal minimum.
Don’t be deflated
Tyre pressures should be checked every month, and also before long journeys. When the temperature drops the pressure also drops and this can affect the handling of the vehicle. Tyre pressures should be checked before the vehicle has been used and the tyres inflated to meet the manufacturer specification.
Make the switch
Winter tyres are designed to improve vehicle performance when the temperature is below 7°C, delivering up to three times the amount of traction due to the materials and construction. Fitting winter tyres reduces the risk of skidding in cold weather, reducing the chance of accidents and avoiding costly downtime for businesses.
Transporting heavy loads can cause excessive wear and tear, increasing stopping distances. Research conducted for VW Commercial Vehicles found that half of the UK's three million van drivers put safety at risk by overloading. When carrying heavier loads it is advised you inflate tyres to a higher level before setting off.
Volkswagen Van Centres like Inchcape Volkswagen are offering complementary checks over the winter months, to the end of February 2016.