Tips For Driving on Snow and Ice


Snow and sleet showers are expected tonight all across the UK  so we have  some tips for driving in wintry conditions

  • Ensure your windows are clean and clear, and that you have all-round visibility before you set off. Also take the time to clear snow off the roof of your car.
  • When driving in snow, get your speed right – not too fast that you risk losing control, but not so slow that you risk losing momentum when it is needed
  • From stationary, start gently and avoid high revs. Stay in a higher gear to avoid skidding and maximise control. If it is very slippery, in a manual car move off in a higher gear, rather than just using first.
  •  If you get yourself into a skid, the main thing to remember is to take your foot off the pedals and steer. Only use the brake if you cannot steer out of trouble.
  • Double or even triple your normal stopping distance from the vehicle in front so you are not relying on your brakes to be able to stop; it simply may not happen!
  • It’s better to think ahead as you drive to keep moving, even if it is at walking pace.
  • Plan your journey around busier roads as they are more likely to have been gritted. Avoid using short cuts on minor roads – they are less likely to be cleared or treated with salt, especially country lanes and housing estates.
  • Bends are a particular problem in icy conditions – slow down before you get to the bend, so that by the time you turn the steering wheel you have already lost enough speed.
  • On a downhill slope get your speed low before you start the descent, and do not let it build up – it is much easier to keep it low than to try and slow down once things get slippery.

And if the worst does happen:

  • Keep track of where you are. If you do have to call for assistance, you need to be able to tell the breakdown or emergency services your location.
  • If you must leave your vehicle to telephone for assistance, find a safe place to stand away from the traffic flow. If you have just lost control, the next driver could well do the same in the same place.
  • If you break down or have to pull over on a motorway or dual carriageway, it is always better to leave your vehicle and stand a short distance behind and to the safe side of it. Don’t stand in front of it if at all possible.  Balancing the risks of a collision and hypothermia is something that depends entirely on your situation.

For more driving advice check out our Driving Tips Section


Geraldine Herbert

25th February, 2018


Author: Geraldine Herbert

Motoring journalist Geraldine Herbert is the founder of wheelsforwomen. A jury member for the International Women’s World Car of the Year, she has been a motoring journalist for over ten years and is the motoring expert for Good Housekeeping Magazine and their “Women at the Wheel” section of You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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