We all know how unpredictable the British weather can be and how road conditions can change from day to day without warning, especially in the Winter.  We advise you to make an informed decision before travelling in severe conditions.

Here are a few tips to help keep you safe when driving in the Winter.

Check your vehicle

Ensure that your vehicle is well maintained and serviced;

  • Make sure the battery is fully charged
  • Before each journey, ensure the lights, windows and mirrors are clean and free of ice and snow
  • Check the windscreen washer level regularly and consider adding a winter additive
  • Think about adding anti-freeze to the radiator
  • Ensure that the tyres have the legal amount of depth and are maintained at the correct tyre pressure
  • Check that your wiper blades and lights are in good working order

Plan ahead

Before setting out on your journey, take some time to plan your trip so that you can avoid any unnecessary risks to your safety;

  • Check the local and national weather forecasts
  • Listen to the local and national travel information
  • Tell someone at your destination what time you expect to arrive
  • Ensure your vehicle is clear of ice or snow and the windows are clean
  • Make sure you carry a winter safety kit that includes torch, hi-vis vest, de-icer and a screen scraper

Check your driving

Consider your driving style.  If the roads are icy or slushy, the speed limit is not something to aim for, always consider your safety and the safety of other road users;

  • It can take ten times longer to stop in icy conditions than on a dry road. Allow extra braking distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front to slow down and stop
  • Avoid harsh braking and acceleration
  • Take care to manoeuvre gently
  • Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin
  • If you start to skid, ease off the accelerator but avoid sudden braking
  • To avoid locking your wheels, allow your speed to fall and use the brake pedal gently

When you need assistance

If you need assistance because your vehicle has broken down or you have simply lost your way, remember the following;

  • Try to stop somewhere safe, ensure your hazard lights are on and stay with your vehicle until help arrives. Abandoned vehicles can hold up rescue vehicles
  • If you have to leave your vehicle to get help, make sure you are visible to other road users by carrying a torch (pointed to the ground) and/or wearing a hi-vis safety vest
  • Never use your mobile phone whilst driving. If you need to make a call, pull over somewhere safe or ask a passenger to make the call
  • On a motorway, it is best to use a roadside emergency telephone, the breakdown or emergency services will be able to locate you easier
  • If you have to use a mobile phone, make sure you know your location from the numbers on the posts on the side of the hard shoulder

Download Winter driving information sheet


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