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Winter Driving Tips

Date: Wed 19th December 2018   |   Author: L Blake

Winter Driving Tips

Driving in winter can present many challenges for motorists, so it is important to be adequately prepared before you begin your journey into adverse weather conditions. Read on to find out our top driving tips to ensure that you and your vehicle stay safe on the roads this winter.

Before you set off

Plan your journey

Adverse weather conditions can wreak havoc on the roads and affect traffic flow. To help make sure that your journey runs as smoothly as possible, try and plan out your route beforehand. You can keep up to date with the local weather to avoid areas which could be affected by heavy snow, flooding or ice. You may also want to check traffic news to see if you need to make a diversion or take a different route.

Allow extra time

When temperatures plummet, your car is likely to be covered in snow, ice or moisture at one point or another. To ensure safety on the roads you need to make sure that your visibility is clear.

The Highway Code states that when driving in adverse weather conditions you must have a clear view of the road before you set off and you must ensure that all lights and number plates are visible. This includes ensuring that your windscreen is clear of ice and has been demisted. You should allow extra time to clear your lights, mirrors, windows and the roof of your car of snow and ice before you set off. Driving with snow on your car is extremely dangerous and could potentially put you and other road users in danger.

Cars driving in snow

Whilst on the road

Winter driving tips - stay safe on the roads this winter!

  • Be gentle and cautious when accelerating and braking.
  • Be prepared and stay alert – weather conditions and road surfaces can change over short distances.
  • Drive carefully at all times, even on roads which may appear clear.
  • Keep up to date with local weather and travel news updates – this could affect your route ahead.
  • Keep your distance between other road users. According to the RAC, stopping distances can be up to x10 greater than stopping distances on dry roads.
  • Take care when overtaking vehicles, especially if you are riding a motorcycle.
  • Try to drive at a slow speed in as high a gear as possible.
  • When approaching a bend, try to brake progressively slowly before you reach the bend. Once your vehicle has slowed down, smoothly steer it around the bend. Try to avoid sudden actions as they can lead to loss of control.
  • You can check your grip on the road surface by choosing a safe place to test your brake gently. If it feels as though your vehicle is unresponsive to your steering actions, then this could be a sign that your vehicle is losing grip due to ice on the road. Unlike with snow, tyres make virtually no noise when driving over ice, so take extra care if you are unsure of the condition of the road surface.

We hope you found our winter driving tips useful. For more driving tips and other interesting articles, visit the AutoProtect engage page.