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Useful Tips on Driving Safely in the Snow

The cold weather is back so find out how you should drive in the snow

The cold weather has returned which means there’s a good chance of snow covering UK roads soon, so make sure you’re prepared before getting behind the wheel.

What To Do Before You Begin Your Journey

There are several things you need to do before setting off in the snow, including making sure your car is ready to tackle the weather and making sure you have everything you may need if you were to get stuck.

Stock your car with everything you may need in the event you get stuck or breakdown. This should include spare clothing, a warm blanket, a shovel, a fully charged portable phone charger, a high visibility vest, a warning triangle, a first aid kit, suitable footwear, food and drink, some old carpet to put under your driving wheels should you get stuck, and of course everything you would usually need in freezing weather such as window scrapers.

Once you’re fully stocked, the next thing you need to do is to make sure your car is ready for the road. This doesn’t mean things like checking tyres and windscreen washer levels (which you should be checking regularly, regardless of the weather), it means making sure you can see out of every window, as well as ensuring that your lights and number plates are both visible. One of the most important things you need to do is clear your car of snow. This does not just mean the windows, although you’re not legally required to clear if off the roof, if it falls onto your windscreen or into the path of another driver, you could risk being charged with driving without due care and attention.

What To Do When Driving In The Snow

The first and most important rule when driving in the snow is to be careful. The roads will be very different to the usual condition. If your car has it, select winter mode, if not, move off in second gear. Once you’ve got going, accelerate slowly using low revs and change up to a higher gear as soon as possible.

Make sure you maintain a safe stopping distance, with 10 times the normal recommended gap being the best way to go in the snow. When driving uphill, make sure you leave plenty of room so that you can safely maintain your current speed. When driving downhill, use a low gear and try to avoid breaking while still leaving a sizeable gap between you and the vehicle in front. When approaching a bend, you need to break before turning the steering wheel, and avoid over-accelerating when going around the corner, if you do begin slip make sure your wheels are pointing in the direction you want to go in.

Avoid driving in the wheel tracks of previous vehicles if the road hasn’t been gritted because the road could be even more slippery than fresh snow.

When visibility is low, make sure you have your dipped headlights switched on, your daylights may not turn your rear lights on. If visibility goes below 100m you should put your fog lights on.

Stay Calm When Things Go Wrong

If you encounter a skid, the best course of action is to gently steer into it, so if you’re skidding to the left turn the steering wheel to left. Do not stamp on the breaks or take your hands off the steering wheel as this can make things worse.


Driving in the snow can be a difficult task, but as long as you remain calm, drive sensibly and leave plenty of time for your journey it will be a lot easier.

Think Insurance

For many young drivers this could be the first time that you will be behind the wheel, driving in the snow, so it is important to remain calm and take your time. If you are a young driver and looking to save money on your Car insurance, why not give Think Insurance a call. With one of our Black Box insurance policies you can rest assured that you are in safe hands. Why not get in touch today by calling 0330 127 4100 or by clicking the Get a Quote button now!