Winter is coming… And drivers need to be prepared.
With darker evenings and colder temperatures leading to rain, ice and snow on the roads, winter is the season when drivers of all vehicles need to take the most care.
Along with cyclists and pedestrians being harder to see, here are a few other things for drivers, fleet managers and transport operators to think about.
QBE has recently partnered with Network Rail to raise the issue of bridge strikes - a serious problem for transport operators, particularly heavy goods and passenger-carrying vehicles.
On average, five drivers a day collide with a Network Rail bridge. That's almost 2,000 bridge strikes every year – causing risk to road and rail users, thousands of hours delay to the transport network, and around £23 million in damage.
It’s an important issue for transport managers to be aware of as there’s often an increase in bridge strikes at this time of year, with factors including shorter days; a rise in deliveries leading up to Christmas; and temporary drivers being unfamiliar with routes or vehicle heights.
There’s ‘preventing bridge strikes’ e-training available at discounted rates for QBE customers, so please get in touch for more information.
On cold winter mornings, it’s not unusual for drivers to warm up the vehicle and defrost the windscreen by letting the engine idle. Because of this, gangs of thieves are known to drive around looking for cars, vans and other vehicles with running engines left unattended. This type of vehicle crime is known to Police as ‘frosting’ or ‘frost-jacking’.
Always follow the number one rule: ‘Never leave your vehicle unattended with the engine running.’
As a leading insurer of business and commercial vehicles, we know that driving too closely to the vehicle in front is one of the main contributory factors in ‘Hit Third Party in Rear’ road traffic incidents. When the road is wet, icy or foggy you need to leave a much bigger stopping distance gap, particularly if driving a larger vehicle such as a truck, bus or coach. Remember the ‘two second rule’ for cars and motorcycles. You’ll need four seconds and sometimes much more for larger vehicles.
Our top tips to keep moving safely this winter also include:
When it comes to vehicle breakdowns, battery problems are the most common cause but keeping vehicles in good condition with regular maintenance should help prevent this issue. Some other things to note include:
You may find our free factsheets useful to read and share.
Preventing ‘De-frosting’ Vehicle Crime
Road Safety Week is coordinated annually by Brake, the road safety charity. Road Safety Week 2021 runs from 15-21 November.
This year’s theme is ‘Road Safety Heroes’ - celebrating the heroic work of road safety professionals. See www.brake.org.uk/road-safety-week for more information.
QBE helps businesses build resilience through risk management and insurance.
With almost a century of insuring commercial vehicles, 50 years’ experience in insuring bus and coach fleets, and 30 years as the UK leader in minibus insurance, QBE is fully committed to the motor sector and proactively helping customers to manage risk and drive down claims. This approach has made QBE a name to trust in commercial motor insurance.
QBE customers can access self-assessment questionnaires and a library of risk management material, along with a panel of approved partners who offer training, e-learning and other services at specially reduced rates. You can find more information in our Motor risk management service offerings brochure, and find out more about how QBE helps businesses to manage risk here.
Finally, a reminder that if you have an incident and need to make an insurance claim, it’s important that you report it as soon as possible, ideally the same day. Reporting a claim early can save time and help you to receive any claim payments faster, as well as allowing us to help mitigate the cost of third-party claims.