Winter driving tips

Driving in winter can bring a host of extra hazards for even the most experienced driver, from icy roads and heavy rain, to poor visibility and snow.

To make sure you stay safe when out on the roads, we’ve put together some tips and advice on how you can best prepare for driving in bad weather and poor conditions.

Before you drive:

  • Check your fluid levels, including oil and water, and make sure you have the right amount of antifreeze in your coolant and screenwash.
  • Make sure you always keep your car topped up with fuel, just in case you have to make extra detours due to bad conditions.
  • Check all your interior and exterior lights, and carry a few spare essential bulbs.
  • Make sure your tyres are at the correct pressure, and that they are in good condition.
  • Keep a pack of essential items in your vehicle, including a torch, blanket, roadmap, bottled water, and snacks. You should also carry a shovel, boots, ice scraper, and a piece of old carpet to provide grip if you are stuck in snow.  
  • Check the traffic and weather reports for any warnings or incidents, and plan accordingly.
  • Ensure your wipers are clean and working effectively, so they can keep your view clear in heavy rain or snow.

Out on the road:

  • Leave extra distance between your vehicle and the car in front. Braking distances will be much longer in wet or icy conditions, and visibility is likely to be much reduced.
  • Keep your sunglasses in the car, as the low winter sun can cause blinding glare on wet roads or snow.
  • Start off in second gear to avoid skidding, and gently pump the brakes when you want to slow down.


For more advice about driving in winter, have a look at these tips from the government