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Self help for drivers

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Travel conditions

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

Prepare for the unexpected

  • 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.

Before starting a journey check

  • 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.

Contact Details (LiveLink)

Multiple Contacts:
eMail: localhighways@wiltshire.gov.uk
Telephone: 0300 456 0105
Out of hours:
Fax: 01225 713488
Postal Address:

Customer Services
Wiltshire Council
County Hall
BA14 8JN

In Person:

Related documents

This is a printable document for your information.

Last updated: 3 February 2014


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