Winter drive safety tips

Is your car winter roadworthy?

  • Check brakes, wiper blades, battery, tyre pressure and tread.
  • Check all your lights are in working order.
  • Use your headlights, not park lights in low light conditions.
  • Clear the ice off all your windows before you start up - use cold water or an ice scraper.

Plan your trip

  • Check road conditions and choose safety over convenience to select your route.
  • For 24 hour road conditions and road closure information, call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).
  • Dress for the conditions - carry warm clothes in case you get stuck or break down. For a long trip have some food and water in the car.
  • Towing is not recommended in icy conditions.

Drive to the conditions

  • Keep speed down - watch for shaded areas where ice may stay all day.
  • Increase following distance to four seconds.
  • Avoid sudden movements - accelerate smoothly and brake very gently.
  • Fit chains on the driving wheels of the vehicle.
  • You need chains on the front wheels to ensure you have steering control when going downhill on icy roads.
  • To brake, pump the brake in short rapid bursts rather than pressing long and hard.