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Driving in snow and ice

Snow and ice can make driving dangerous. Follow our top tips to keep safe on the roads this winter.

Before winter

  • Get a winter vehicle check to make sure your vehicle is safe. Many garages now offer free checks.
  • Add a low temperature screen wash to the wash bottle and ensure it is kept topped up.
  • Check lights and indicators are working.
  • Check tyres have a good tread depth (legal minimum 1.6mm).
  • Check the battery is in good working order.
  • Plan where you will park your car to avoid it getting stuck.
  • Let someone know your intended route and expected time of arrival.
  • If you have a mobile phone, make sure it is fully charged.

During snow and ice

  • Unless your journey is absolutely necessary, stay at home.  
  • Keep the windscreen and windows clear of snow and ice.
  • Allow extra time for your journey and take regular breaks.
  • Allow at least ten seconds stopping time between you and the vehicle in front.
  • Accelerate, steer and brake more gently.
  • Use dipped headlights.
  • Avoid high and remote areas where snow conditions may be more severe.
  • Take a hot drink, water and food with you.
  • Make sure you have a snow shovel, tow bar or other equipment to help if your car gets stuck.
  • Gritters work at speeds lower than normal traffic speed, if you are behind one please don't try to overtake.

If you do get into difficulty

  • Stay with your vehicle until help arrives.
  • If you have to leave your vehicle, make sure you are visible to other road users and let the police know.
  • Stay close to the road, don't wander off into remote areas. 

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