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Roads in winter

Winter driving tips

Watch our film with tips on braking in wet and icy conditions, how to avoid and control skids and what emergency kit to have in your boot.

Be prepared before you travel:

  • make sure you have plenty of fuel
  • check your oil level
  • check and replace the anti-freeze in your car's radiator ahead of winter
  • make sure your tyres are correctly inflated
  • make sure your windscreen is clean and screenwash is topped up with winter screen wash
  • check your lights are clean and working
  • Think about alternative routes 
  • Allow extra time for your journey 
  • Make sure your mobile is fully charged 
  • If the weather is severe, let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back

Kit out your car for winter. Always carry:

  • ice scraper and de-icer
  • a torch and some spare batteries
  • a shovel
  • a small bag of salt
  • boots
  • a first aid kit
  • jump leads or battery pack
  • warm clothes and blankets
  • an in-car/portable phone charger
  • a paper road map in case your phone runs out of charge
  • snacks and water
  • a reflective warning sign
  • reflective sunglasses for driving in low sun

Driving tips:

  • don't assume the road has been gritted
  • keep your distance and look well ahead
  • decelerate rather than brake to slow down
  • brake gently
  • accelerate gently
  • turn the steering wheel gently
  • if you skid, ease off the accelerator - don't brake suddenly
  • if you're going up a slippery hill, use as high a gear as possible. Don't start off in first - try second or third

For more information see: