Whether your fleet operates on difficult terrain like snowy and mountainous roads every day or occasionally, following some safety precautions will keep you and your crew safe. With the right preparation and vehicle, you will be able to take whatever the road throws at you.
Be prepared to manage difficult terrain
Nothing lends confidence and decreases your risk of accidents like taking preventative measures before the van ever leaves the lot. Drivers and fleet managers should ensure that vehicles are in good condition, performing component checks like tyre pressure and fluid levels regularly. Simply checking tyre pressure on a weekly basis and verifying that windows and headlights are clean and transparent (especially the windshield) will already make departures that much safer.
Prepare to decrease your speed by up to 20 mph when driving on difficult terrain or in snow. The best advice for driving in difficult conditions is to simply slow down, giving you and your van more time to react to unexpected road events.
Nothing can replace driver alertness. As a driver, it’s important to be well hydrated and to keep your blood sugar up to stay alert. Fleet managers may store a water bottle and snacks in the van to make sure their drivers stay fuelled in a clutch. When driving on mountainous roads, beware of altitude changes that can dehydrate drivers and impede alertness. If a driver is feeling lightheaded, he or she should pullover as soon as is safely possible.
Driving in the cold
If you’ll be driving in low temperatures on a regular basis, check out our advice on preparing your business van for winter. Remember that on snow or ice, your tires will take more time to find the grip to accelerate, brake, or change directions. Handle the car slowly and smoothly. Ease on the gas or brakes and move your hands slowly, steering with great deliberation. Note that at the push of a button, you can put your Renault van in Eco mode, which will moderate the throttle response via the Engine Control Unit (ECU). The result: a safer drive, with improved fuel efficiency.
The danger of loose surfaces
All new Renault van models come fitted with several safety features to help you stay in control of your van on loose surfaces like snow, gravel or shallow mud. Activating Grip Xtend from your dashboard allows your front wheels to spin, clearing away the low grip surface and allowing you to gain better traction on the surface below. This, along with Electronic Stability Control, standard on all models, will help ensure vehicle stability and correct your trajectory on difficult turns. Finally, the Hill Start Assist feature allows the vehicle to be held on an incline, without the use of the handbrake, for two seconds. This allows you time to engage gear and apply power, making you less likely to be caught off guard by the slope.
By taking preventative measures, slowing down, and staying alert – as well as taking advantage of Renault van features – you can take on snow and difficult terrain with confidence.