4 Jan 19

Winter driving safety tips

Fleet managers have a duty to ensure that, as far as possible, they keep their drivers safe. This normally leads to elements in the car policy regarding the use of phones, vehicle maintenance, driving style etc. Now, however, the UK arm of Spanish manufacturer SEAT has provided some advice specifically for winter driving, and in a domain which is not normally covered. This is the temperature inside the car.

María García, an engineer at SEAT’s Development and Aerodynamics Department, points out an illuminating analogy:  “Driving with an interior temperature of 35°C is similar to having a blood alcohol level of 0.5 g/l”, she warns. This is at or around, or even above, legal driving limits in various European countries.

SEAT says that 21.5 °C has been dubbed the ‘comfort temperature’. The climate control’s auto setting automatically regulates the interior temperature of the car, providing balanced heat distribution: half of the warm air comes out at around 40 °C near the driver’s feet and cools by the time it reaches the upper body and head, keeping the driver more alert at the wheel.

Another piece of advice which has probably not occurred to most fleet managers, is to try not to wear full winter clothing at the wheel. Gloves, coats and scarves tend to limit freedom of movement, and are therefore a safety risk. María García explains:  “Wearing gloves is only recommended in exceptional cases when low temperatures can cause a loss of feeling in the hands at the wheel.”

(Image: public domain)

Authored by: Tim Harrup