Winter Driving Tips

Winter Driving Tips

With the winter weather closing in and coating the UK in a nice fresh layer of snow here are some tips on safe driving in icy and snowy conditions. Winter conditions are probably the most hazardous that a driver can experience in the UK, with a mix of ice, snow and limited visibility it’s essential to ensure that your car is well maintained and that you are prepared for your journey.

Before winter hits:

There are a few things that you should check on your car before the winter months close in:


The important thing to remember with the antifreeze in your car is to check your levels and to check the manual provided with the vehicle for the type of antifreeze that is required. Some antifreezes do not mix well together and can form a “sludge” that can clog up your engine and can lead to irreparable damage.

Tyre Tread

Ensuring that your tyre tread is of a reasonable depth will ensure that you maintain as much grip on the road as possible, reducing the chances of losing control of the car.


Visibility is an important part of safe and sensible driving, making sure that your lights are in good working order will improve your chances of seeing any potential hazards.

Before setting off in wintry conditions:

Check traffic and weather reports by checking with the latest reports you can allow additional time for driving and see whether there are any potential accident black spots or roads to avoid.

Warm your car up

Quite simply, there’s nothing worse than sitting shivering in your car.

Clear windows and mirrors

Scraping the ice and snow from your windscreen and mirrors frees up your view, enables you to see other traffic behind you and with the increased visibility improves your chance of reacting to any problems that can happen.

Check your washer levels

Your washers help clear your windows from spray being kicked up from other traffic, this will usually contain parts of the grit and salt that are laid

Whilst driving:

Allow additional room for braking When driving in snow it is almost impossible to stop at the same rate that you would need to on a road under normal conditions, so allow up to 10 times as much room as you would normally allow for bringing your car to a stop.

Smooth driving

Sharp, sudden movements in your car on slippery surfaces is always ill advised, even more so when the road is icy. By keeping your driving smooth and changing your speed steadily you will maintain control of your car and severely reduce the chances of you being involved in an accident.

One final point is to make sure that you have a winter emergency kit in your car boot (containing a shovel, a tow rope, jump leads, spare tyre and a warning triangle) just in case you do end having to park your car up and wait until the conditions clear. It may also be a good idea to take a blanket, wellington boots (or other suitable outdoor footwear) and a torch. If you follow these instructions then hopefully you can look forwards to safe driving throughout the winter.

If you are using car hire then it is always best to make sure that you are aware of local laws for using appropriate tyres and any requirements that your hire company have.

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