Wed 17 Jan 2018
DRIVING IN SNOW AND ICE
Always adjust your driving according to the conditions and plan your journey by checking the latest weather forecast. You can also look for clues on road conditions such as ice on the pavement or on your windscreen before you start your journey and take extra care.
Highways England and the governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland look after motorways and major A roads, and local authorities look after all the other roads, working as hard as they can to keep their networks clear during severe weather. Read more - how do the gritters know when to go out?
CHANGE YOUR ROUTE IF POSSIBLE FOR BETTER CONDITIONS
- Stick to the main roads where you can. You should drive with care and respect the road conditions wherever you drive, but if you cannot avoid driving on a minor road, take extra care.
- Only travel if really necessary. Snow ploughs are unable to get through if the road or motorway is full of stationary traffic, so do not make journeys unless completely necessary to give Highways England and local authorities the space they need to help you on your journey.
- Avoid steep hills and exposed roads hills and exposed areas are likely to present more challenging driving conditions in snow and ice.
MAKE NECESSARY PREPARATIONS BEFORE YOU SET OFF
- Clear your windscreen of snow, frost or condensation. The Highway Code stipulates you must be able to see out of every glass panel in your vehicle.
- Clear any snow off the roof of the vehicle before you drive away, otherwise you may cause snow to fall on your windscreen hampering your vision. Read about the dangers of driving with snow on your carfrom RAC.
USEFUL TIPS FOR DRIVING IN SNOW:
- Accelerate gently, using low revs. You may need to take off in second gear to avoid skidding.
- You may need 10 times the normal gap between your car and the car in front.
- Try not to brake suddenly - it may lock up your wheels and you could skid further.
- Be extra cautious at road junctions where road markings may not be visible.
- Read more tips from RAC about driving in snow.
- Look out for winter service vehicles spreading salt or using snow ploughs. They have flashing amber beacons and travel at slower speeds - around 40 mph. Stay well back because salt or spray can be thrown across the road. Do not overtake unless it is safe to do so - there may be uncleared snow on the road ahead