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Advice for drivers

As a road user (motorist or pedestrian), you will have a responsibility to yourself, your passengers and other road users. Here are some suggestions as to what you can do to assist in having a safe journey.

  • Consider whether your journey is necessary
  • Obtain the latest weather information
  • Plan your journey (route and timing), allowing yourself extra time
  • Tell someone of your plans
  • Consider carrying winter tyres or snow chains in your car
  • Do you have experience in adverse weather driving? (consider a course in skid control)
  • As a pedestrian, are you wearing warm clothing and appropriate footwear?
  • Could you use alternative means of transport?
  • Consider joining a recognised breakdown/recovery service
  • When driving, travel slowly, at a safe distance from the vehicle in front and no harsh braking or steering
  • When driving, always use dipped headlights when visibility is poor, due to rain, snow or fog
  • When driving in heavy rain or through floods, drive slowly to reduce the risk of aquaplaning
  • It is better to travel a little further on a main road that has been treated with salt than to use untreated minor roads
  • No guarantee can be given that roads will always be completely clear of ice or snow and it takes time for salt to become effective after roads are salted
  • Rain can wash salt off roads leaving them prone to re-icing and in severe cold weather with temperatures below -8˚C, salt will not be as effective on icy roads
  • ‘Dawn Frost’ occurs on dry roads when early morning dew falls on cold road surfaces and freezes on impact
  • If raining, salting will commence when rain stops, to avoid salt from being washed away
  • During rush hours, traffic congestion will almost certainly delay the salting operation
  • FINALLY, even the most carefully organised procedures can suffer setbacks or mechanical breakdowns and as a result, some salting routes may not be treated as quickly as programmed.


  • Your tyre pressures are at the recommended level and that the tread depth is correct. Don’t forget your spare!Your vehicle’s lights are clean and in working order
  • Your wiper system is working effectively, your washer bottles are full and contain a suitable additive to prevent freezing
  • Your battery is in good condition, topped up and fully charged
  • Your antifreeze is at the correct strength (your garage can do this for you)
  • Make sure that all your windows and mirrors are completely clear of ice and condensation
  • Keep available a can of de-icer and a scraper and cover your car’s windscreen with a blanket overnight
  • For longer journeys, consider taking a flask of hot drink, a blanket and a shovel.

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Last updated: 28 December 2017 | Last reviewed: 28 December 2017