Give yourself AT LEAST 10 minutes extra
to prep the car.
Clear ALL windows
of snow and ice using a scraper and de-icer. Clear
the snow from the roof so it doesn't cover the windscreen when
you brake. De-mist the inside
BEFORE driving off!
Locks? Use a cigarette lighter to warm a key.
Before you leave think
Do you have enough? Prepare to be stuck in traffic you want to
Check them all. Use a reflective surface or
window if necessary.
Check the level when the engine is cold on a level surface.
Antifreeze. In most modern cars this should be replaced every 2
years. A 50-50 mix is the best for winter covering you to
temperatures of 34 below!
Battery and Bulbs. Lights, heaters and windscreen wipers put
high demands on the battery. Batteries normally need replacing
every 4-5 years, so do it rather than regret it. Don't run
electrics if you don't have to. When you're starting up the car
ensure that non-essentials like lights, rear screen heater and
wipers are turned off.
Tyres and Wiper blades. Check tread and condition. DONT FORGET
the spare, this should be inflated to the highest pressure you
may need. It is harder to put it in than let it out at the road
You Are you fit and
healthy? Are you prepared? If bad weather do you NEED to drive?
Glasses (When were your eyes last checked?)
DO NOT under-inflate your tyres. This does not
improve traction and will increase the risks.
Make sure you have All Weather tyres or better still consider
Winter tyres. These have a higher level of Silicone and will
stay softer & grip better under cold conditions.
Check your pressure, condition & tread depth!
Grip, you will need it! The legal limit is 1.6mm, but in ice and
snow the more the better. Less than 3mm gives severely
reduced traction, so make sure you are covered. Remember you
only have 4 CD cases holding you on the road!
Do you have a working jack and wheel brace,
and that you know how to change a wheel if necessary. Where is
the wheel on your car? How do you release it? Do you have a
locking wheel nut?
See and Be seen
Beware of dazzle from the low sun. Make sure
that ALL windows and mirrors are clear and clean inside and
Air con demists faster and reduces condensation.
wiper fluid Make sure it is a winter mix and Full an empty
bottle could cost you a fine + 3 points!
Keep your number plate clean- again points and
a fine may follow if you don't!
Use the correct lights and don't blind other
Make sure you adjust the angle of your
headlights using the switch inside the car.
Fog lights if visibility is less than 100m, if
it isn't then turn them off!
DO NOT use sidelights/parking lights to drive
they are for parking, use dipped headlights instead.
Driving on Ice
Avoid harsh acceleration,
braking and steering.
Use the highest gear available without causing
the car to struggle.
Keep your speed down.
Listen No sound may mean ice on the road.
temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you
might encounter ice in shady areas, dips it the road, brows on
hills or on exposed roadways like bridges
Front wheel skids
Take your foot off the gas pedal and drop the
If your vehicle
starts to skid:
- Drop the clutch. Do NOT brake
Steer into the skid
Once straight steer along the road
Release the clutch and accelerate lightly.
Take your foot off the gas pedal
Steer into the skid.
may then need to compensate in the other
direction using a left, right, left approach
until you get your vehicle completely under
If you are forced
Standard brakes - pump them gently
Anti-lock brakes (ABS) - do not pump the brakes.
Apply steady pressure, you will feel the brakes
pulse maintain pressure.
If you get stuck
not spin your wheels. It will only dig you
Turn your wheels from side to side move the snow
Very light acceleration, slow and steady
Clear snow away from the wheels and the
underside of the car
a rug or sand to help get traction