Most of us can’t put our lives on hold if the weather is bad. So if you do have to make a journey some tips can make it safer. 

During periods of snow and ice

  • Carry a car kit in your vehicle - mobile phone and car charger kit, an emergency contact list, first aid kit, warm, waterproof clothes and footwear, blanket, food, water, torch (with spare batteries), and a spade - in case you are stranded in heavy snow, jump leads and a tow rope.
  • Inform a family member or friend of your intended travel arrangements and expected arrival time.
  • Plan your journey around main routes, which are more likely to have been gritted. 
  • Be prepared. Wear several layers of clothing to maintain body heat, rather than one thick layer and don’t forget your hat.
  • Food and a warm drink should be taken on longer journeys. 

Staying safe as the weather improves

As the weather improves, the thaw creates new challenges for motorists with the risk of ice and standing water continuing to cause problems. Drivers are advised to take extra care and follow the advice below for driving in wintry conditions:

  • Moderate your speed to match the conditions but try not to brake sharply, use the gears instead to decelerate. 
  • Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front - stopping distances are longer on wet or icy roads.
  • Make sure you have good visibility by clearing front and back windscreens and all windows/wing mirrors before setting off.
  • Keep your windscreen washer bottle topped up, with the addition of winter screen wash.
  • Clean your headlights front and rear before driving and use dipped headlights when driving in poor visibility, including heavy rain as well as snow.
  • Be alert for pedestrians walking on roads when footpaths are too snowy or icy to use.
  • Make sure you have both an ice scraper and de-icer in your car at all times.
  • Keep your car kit in your car.
Page last updated: 
4 December 2013
 
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