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Driving Safely in Winter Weather – Top Tips 

Driving Safely in Winter Weather – Top Tips 

Date: 16 December 2023

Be prepared before you travel 

  • Check the weather forecasts and traffic warnings
  • Plan your route – use major roads that are more likely to be cleared of ice and snow, allow extra time to get to your destination, factor in regular breaks if you have a long journey
  • Check your petrol and don’t risk driving with a low amount, in case of delays 
  • Clear snow from the car roof, so that it doesn’t fall onto the windscreen 
  • Ensure your windscreen is clear of snow, ice and is fully demisted  
  • Don’t drive if you’re unwell or taking medicine that could make you drowsy 
  • Don’t drink alcohol and drive – be aware if you’ve been drinking alcohol the night before, you may not be sober enough to drive the next morning 
  • Ensure the car lights are working 
  • Check and top up anti-freeze  
  • Check and top up your screenwash 
  • Ensure you have the essentials in your car: 
  • Ice scraper and de-icer  
  • Fully charged mobile/charger 
  • Torch/spare batteries 
  • Details of your breakdown service provider 

Also consider taking: 

  • Warm clothes 
  • Sturdy footwear 
  • Hot drinks and snacks 
  • Shovel  
  • First Aid kit 
  • Sunglasses – snow can create glare from the sun 

Tips for driving safely 

  • Drive slowly; stopping distances can be 10 times longer when it’s icy 
  • Pull away in second gear – gently, to avoid wheel-spin 
  • If you use your brakes, apply them gently 
  • Leave plenty of room between other cars 
  • When driving uphill, leave plenty of room in front so you can maintain a constant speed without the need for changing gear  
  • When driving downhill use a low gear and try to avoid braking

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