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How to keep safe when driving in the snow and ice this winter

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January 17, 2018
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The best advice for driving in snow and ice is not to drive at all.

But if you must go out driving in the snow, it’s essential you ensure both you and your car are fully prepared.

Make sure your tyres are inflated correctly and you have a minimum of 3mm tread to cope with the treacherous conditions. Ensure your battery is fully-charged too, before you set out.

Clear all snow and ice from your windscreen and use de-icer rather than hot water, which can crack your windscreen, keep locks clear with a quick spray of WD-40 and plan your route on busier roads which are more likely to have been gritted or cleared by a snow plough or the heavier traffic.

driving in snow and ice

Stay warm and safe when driving in the snow and ice

If you do find yourself trapped in your car, make sure you have everything you need on board to stay warm and safe.

Keep warm by running the engine, but make sure your exhaust pipe isn’t blocked by snow as there will be a danger from toxic carbon monoxide fumes. Never run the engine for more than 10 to 15 minutes in each hour.

Specialist motoring insurance broker Adrian Flux has compiled its top tips to make driving in snow and ice a less daunting prospect.

Adrian Flux tips for driving in snow and ice

  • Try not to venture out until the snow ploughs and gritting trucks have done their work
  • Allow extra time – and fuel – for your journey, bearing in mind that you may have to make unplanned diversions
  • Turn on your lights to increase visibility, ensure your lights and windscreen are clean and make sure you’re wearing dry shoes rather than snow-covered boots which might slip off the pedals.
  • Stopping distances are up to 10 times longer in ice and snow. Decrease your speed and leave plenty of room to stop
  • Select second gear when pulling away, if possible, and ease your foot off the clutch gently to avoid wheel-spin. Use low gears, especially on hills, to keep traction
  • If your rear wheels skid, take your foot off the accelerator and steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go. If your rear wheels slide to the left, steer to the left and if they slide right, steer to the right. Pump your brakes gently – if you have ABS brakes, do not pump, apply steady pressure
  • If your front wheels skid, take your foot off the accelerator and put the car into neutral, but don’t try to steer immediately. As the car slows, steer in the direction you want to go, release the clutch and accelerate gently
  • If you find yourself stuck, straighten the steering and clear the snow from the wheels (first of all, you can try turning your wheel from side to side gently to clear snow out of the way). If you need to clear snow by hand, shovel it away from the wheels and underside of the car and use old carpet, sand, cat litter or salt in the path of the wheels to get traction
  • If a road hasn’t been gritted, try not to drive in the wheel-tracks of other vehicles, in which snow may have compacted into treacherous ice
  • Keep a cold weather kit in the car for emergencies. Include a blanket, hat, gloves, thick socks, fully-charged mobile phone, torch, high-calorie snacks, water and a shovel in addition to your all-year-round kit of reflective warning triangle, tow rope, jump leads and first aid kit
  • Most importantly of all, don’t be afraid to turn back if the conditions seem to be too treacherous. No journey is more important than your safety.


Adrian Flux Insurance Services offer a huge range of insurance options for motorists for a surprisingly low price and can offer drivers the peace-of-mind to keep them safe on the road. Call 0800 369 8590 for the best Adrian Flux motor insurance deals.


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