Winter Driving Tips

Winter driving conditions can change quickly, be prepared & plan your journey.

Regularly check the following

  • Lights
  • Battery
  • Brakes
  • Tyres
  • Wipers
  • Fuel levels
  • Antifreeze
  • Coolants

Plan Your Journeys During Wintry Weather Conditions:

  • If your journey isn't absolutely essential, do not take the risk.
  • Check the local and national weather forecasts and listen to the local and national radio for travel information.
  • Tell someone about were you hope to reach your destination and when you expect to arrive.
  • Make sure you are equipped with warm clothes, food, boots and a torch; in snowy conditions, take a spade.
  • Clear and de-mist your windows and mirrors before you set out and carry a windscreen scraper and de-icer.

Keep Your Vehicle in Good Condition:

In winter it is even more important to check that your vehicle is well maintained and serviced.

  • Keep the lights, windows and mirrors clean and free from ice and snow.
  • Make sure your battery is fully charged.
  • Add anti-freeze to the radiator and a winter addictive to the windscreen washer bottles.
  • Make sure wipers and lights are in good working order.
  • Check your tyres on a regular basis. Tread depth should be 1.6mm or above and should be checked along with tyre pressures.

Adjust Your Driving to the Conditions:

Driving in low visibility on icy or wet roads requires a very different driving style. There are some simple steps you should take to ensure your safety when exposed to the different driving hazards.

In Low Visibility

When driving in hail, heavy snow or rain, use your dipped headlights, in fog or mist use dipped headlights and fog lights so other drivers can see you. Reduce your speed and keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front.

In Heavy Rain/ Flood Conditions

  • If your vehicle loses grip on surface water take your foot off the accelerator, do not brake or steer suddenly because you have no control of the steering or brakes.
  • All vehicles can be affected by windy weather and strong gusts can blow a vehicle off course. Be careful on open stretches of road and be mindful of other vehicles around you.
  • It is advisable not to drive through deep surface water as you might flood your engine. If you are unsure find an alternative route as it could save you time and money in the long term. If you do have to drive on flooded roads drive in a low gear and progress at a low,steady speed. Always be mindful of other vehicles or pedestrians.
  • Always Test your brakes after passing through the water.

When Roads are Icy or Slushy:

  • It can take ten times longer to stop, so drive slowly, allowing extra room to slow down and stop.
  • When accelerating, use the highest gear possible to prevent your wheels from spinning
  • Manoeuvre gently, avoiding harsh braking and acceleration.

If you must drive, make sure you are aware of the conditions!

If you get into trouble:

  • Do not use a mobile phone whilst driving. Instead, stop somewhere safe or ask a passenger to make the call.
  • On a motorway, it is best to use a roadside emergency telephone, because it will hep the breakdown/ emergency services to locate you easily. If you have to use your mobile phone, make sure you know your location from the numbers on the marker posts positioned at the side of the hard shoulder.
  • Abandoned vehicles can hold up rescue vehicles and snowplows, so to ensure that the road is cleared as quickly as possible, stay with your vehicle until help arrives.
  • If you have to leave your vehicle to get help, make sure other drivers can see you clearly.

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