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Homepage > Roads and highways > Winter > Driving in snow and ice

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Driving in snow and ice

Driving in snow and ice is often dangerous. Gritting is not a magic solution that makes it safe to drive and so you should use common sense at all times. In serious weather conditions you should always take the time to consider how necessary your journey is.

If your do need to make a journey the following guide will help you.

Be informed

Knowing the following information will help you on your journey:

Drive carefully

Keep the following in mind on your journey:

  • Take extra care when driving during winter, and if conditions are bad, you should only travel if it is necessary
  • Keep your distance from other vehicles and be patient and allow for extra time on your journey
  • Even if the road is clear or looks treated please take extra care because salting does not guarantee the road is free from ice

Prepare properly

Before driving in your vehicle, check that:

  • Tyres are at the correct pressures and there is sufficient tread - a minimum of 4mm is recommended in snow conditions. You can even consider changing to winter tyres to improve your cars performance even more.
  • Vehicle lights are clean and working
  • Battery is in good condition and fully charged
  • Wiper blades are effective, and washer reservoir is full
  • Anti-freeze is the right concentration (your garage can do this for you)
  • Windows and mirrors are clear of ice or condensation

Once your vehicle has been checked, prepare yourself by taking the following supplies:

  • Ice scraper
  • De-icer
  • Torch
  • Warm clothes
  • Blanket
  • Shovel
  • Food & drink
  • First aid kit

Getting stuck

If you run into difficulties, you should use the following guidance:

  • Stay in your vehicle and keep the engine running unless you are stuck in a snow drift when you should switch it off to prevent your vehicle filling with exhaust fumes;
  • Make the vehicle/yourself as visible as possible to other road users/rescuers;
  • Keep warm;
  • If you use a mobile phone, give accurate details of your location.

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