Top tops for winter driving

Winter driving can be more stressful on cars and drivers a like. With heavy rain, snow and ice making each journey more difficult and potentially dangerous to you and other road users.

Prepare your vehicle for winter

  • Check your tyres the minimum depth is 1.6mm. In rain, ice and heavy snow the more grip you have the better.
  • Make sure your lights are clean and working.
  • Check that your battery is fully charged.
  • Check the condition of your front and rear windscreen wipers.
  • Make sure your washer bottle is full with water and screen wash and keep it topped up through the winter.

Keep the following items in your vehicle

  • an ice scraper
  • de-icer
  • torch
  • first aid kit
  • hazard warning triangle
  • and in really bad weather a blanket, shovel and wellington boots.

Reduced visibility and slippery road surfaces make winter driving particularly hazardous

  • Adjust to the driving conditions, whether it’s frosty and icy, foggy or there’s heavy rain please slow down and give yourself time to react.
  • Completely clear all your windows and mirrors of ice and make sure all of your windows are demisted and not just a small area.
  • Make sure you leave plenty of space between you and the car in front.
    • In wet weather stopping distances will be at least double those required for stopping on dry roads as your tyres have less grip on the road.
    • It can take ten times longer to stop in icy conditions than on a dry road, so drive slowly and allow extra room to slow down and stop.
  • Use fog lamps if visibility is reduced to 100 metres or less. Remember to switch them off when visibility improves as they can dazzle other road users. Also take into account that fog also makes the road wet and slippery.
  • Winter and spring sunlight can present drivers with an unexpected hazard, if you are blinded by glare, reduce your speed.  Keep a pair of sunglasses handy.