Van and truck drivers are being warned to make sure their tyres are fit for winter conditions amid fears of increased accidents on icy roads ahead of plummeting temperature predictions.
Commercial vehicle leasing business LeaseVan.co.uk claims drivers are 20% more likely to suffer a road accident during the winter months.
With the Met Office predicting that last year's ‘Beast from the East’ could return during the next few weeks, the company is warning tradespeople to make sure their tyres are fit for winter driving conditions. This may mean changing their tyres altogether and replacing them with specialist winter treads, particularly if driving on remote country roads. The tyres work best when temperatures drop below 7ºC, improving the traction, grip and braking performance of a vehicle.
In Britain, most vans and trucks are fitted with standard tyres and while it is not mandatory for vehicles to fit winter tyres during the colder months unlike some European countries, they do significantly reduce the risk of driving in wet or icy conditions..
Tim Alcock from LeaseVan.co.uk said: “Driving any vehicle in cold wintery conditions can be perilous but being behind the wheel of a van or truck with a heavy load is even more dangerous due to decreased stability and longer breaking distances.
“Drivers using the specially designed tyres will feel more in control of their vehicle when on wet and icy roads, where a normal summer tyre would struggle for grip and traction.
“The tyres are a useful investment for drivers who will cover hundreds of miles during the winter months. It is recommended to have them fitted around October and then return to summer tyres the following March, meaning drivers can get five to six months use from them.
“Fitting winter tyres can improve road safety for vans, trucks and other road users as vehicles will be better equipped to tackle the poorer road conditions faced throughout winter.”