Well, it looks like it’s finally well and truly upon us. Judging by the thick layer of ice to be scraped off the car this morning, winter has arrived with a vengeance and with it comes the wrong fuel winter blues. As the weather gets colder and wetter, more and more people are putting their push bikes and motorbikes into winter storage and hanging up their walking shoes in favour of getting into a nice warm car in the morning and driving to work. The roads are always more congested when the weather is bad and patience is in short supply. At Wrong Fuel UK we always see a spike in the number of cases we deal with during the winter months. It is, without doubt, due to the shorter days and dark nights combined with increased amounts of traffic on the road. Even though all motorists ought to be considering adding 10 minutes onto the UK average 41 minute commute, life isn’t always that easy and so we find ourselves in a constant hurry which leads to distraction at the fuel pumps and a lot of petrol going into diesel cars.
As we are obviously an outdoor business, Wrong Fuel UK engineers need to be constantly aware of the weather as it can very much affect our response times. As we have already established, the traffic is heavier and slower if it’s raining and road surfaces are more dangerous requiring much more thought and care when driving on them, especially with a mobile wrong fuel unit laden with heavy equipment and potentially carrying a large amount of hazardous contaminated fuel on board. We are also very much aware that customers do not like to be kept waiting and so we have to be honest and realistic with our estimated time of arrival at a wrong fuel emergency job.
The dangers related to wrong fuel emergencies are also more prevalent during the darker winter days. The majority of cases occur during either the morning when people are on their way into work, or in the evening when they are on their way home. During the winter, the chances are that both your morning and evening commute will be in the dark so if you should be unfortunate enough to accidentally fill up with the wrong fuel, then you may end up stranded on the road in darkness, adding to the hazardous nature of your predicament. Our advice in these circumstances is always to make your vehicle situation as obvious as possible by immediately switching on your hazard warning lights so that other motorists know that they need to pass you safely, or if they’re so inclined, to offer you some help in moving your vehicle to a safer position if possible. The very worst winter wrong fuel emergencies occur when motorists fill up with petrol instead of diesel at the motorway service station. Many of these motorists manage to make it down the ramp and into the first lane before their vehicle stalls. Some are lucky and can limp onto the hard shoulder, but others are not so lucky and get stranded in the slow lane becoming a major hazard to other traffic. As previously mentioned, if this happens to you and it’s dark, make sure that you put your hazard warning lights on to warn other traffic that they will need to take action to avoid your car. Whether your vehicle is blocking the slow lane or is stranded on the hard shoulder, you should exit your vehicle on the safe side, away from the traffic and wait for our wrong fuel engineer in a safe place away from the road. We always prioritise this type of case as we recognise the dangers involved and so our engineer will be with you quickly to provide a fast solution.
Be careful if you’re commuting in the dark and if you should be unlucky enough to put in the wrong fuel, you know we’re here to assist.