What You Really Need To Know About Driving in Snow & Ice



Even for the most prepared drivers, snow and ice present challenging and hazardous driving conditions. Read our list of information that you really need to know when driving in winter weather.

  • Early Alarm Call – Set your alarm half an hour earlier than normal to allow 15 minutes to fully de-ice and de-mist your car and then also allow extra time for your journey.
  • Clear Windows – Make sure you have completely cleared your windows inside and out and that the rest of the car is free from snow and ice that could potentially slide onto your windows.
  • Frozen Locks – If your lock is frozen use a lighter to warm the key as this will help thaw the lock from the inside. Don’t breath on the lock as this will only allow the moisture from your breath to freeze as well.
  • Pre Journey Car Check – Check your car over before you start your journey to try and avoid breakdowns or things that could prove hazardous such as running out of washer fluid.
  • Winter Survival Kit – Ensure your car has an appropriate winter survival kit and that it is checked regularly.
  • Gritted Routes – Plan your journey to use main roads that are gritted and avoid country lanes where possible.
  • Pulling Away – When pulling away use second gear, and release the clutch gently to avoid spinning the wheels.
  • Leave a Big Gap – Stopping distances are up to 10 time longer in ice and snow so make sure you leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front.
  • Clean Shoes – Ensure that your shoes are free from snow and ice and have suitable grip on the pedals.
  • Dealing with Hills – When going uphill try and ensure that the slope is clear so that you do not need to stop, choose a suitable gear before you start to climb and try to maintain a constant speed. When coming back downhill make sure you leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front, select a low gear and avoid using the brakes.
  • Gentle Braking – It is important to apply and release the brakes gently.
  • Lights On – Make sure you have your lights on in low visibility conditions such as a snow shower.