- Stop: Road and weather conditions may change - be ready to slow down and take more care driving if you need to.
- Look: Check your vehicle is ready for winter before your journey and always carry an emergency kit.
- Listen: Check traffic and weather updates online or on radio. Don't forget to charge your mobile phone.
- Be informed: Check traffic and weather updates
- Be prepared: Check your vehicle is ready for winter and always carry your emergency kit
- Be aware: In severe weather winter teams (Highways Agency) need the time and space to do their job
- Be wise: Conditions may change, drive with care
Before each journey in severe weather:
- Clean any snow and ice from all windows, lights and number plates. Make sure you can see clearly and be seen
- Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged – but don’t use while driving
- Take some food and a warm drink in a flask in case you get stuck. Don't forget to take any personal medication too
Is your vehicle ready?
- Check and replace the anti-freeze in the radiator
- Make sure your lights are clean and check the bulbs
- Ensure your windscreen is clean
- Replace the battery if it's not reliable
- Ensure your tyres are correctly inflated and replace them before the tread has reached the legal minimum
Drive according to the conditions:
- Allow extra time and distance to brake as it can take ten times longer to stop
- Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin
- To brake without locking your wheels, get into a low gear earlier than normal, allow your speed to fall and use the brake pedal gently
- Be wary of satellite navigation systems as they tend to direct you over high rural roads that are likely to be closed or particularly hazardous in winter
- Do not assume that pedestrians have seen you. They may be elderly, young or not be able to hear you
- Do not attempt to cross flooded roads if the water seems too deep
- Drive slowly through water in first gear but keep the engine speed high by slipping the clutch - this will stop you from stalling
- Test your brakes when you have driven through a flood before you drive again at normal speed
If you have an accident, breakdown or become stuck in bad weather conditions:
- Do not use a mobile phone while driving. Stop somewhere safe or ask a passenger to make the call
- On a motorway, it is best to use a roadside emergency telephone because the emergency services and breakdown recovery services will be able to locate you easily. If you have to use a mobile phone, make sure you know your location from the numbers on the marker posts on the side of the hard shoulder
- If you have to leave your vehicle to get help, make sure other drivers can see you
Diesel in low temperatures
Diesel powered vehicles may suffer problems in low temperatures. Normal Diesel fuel will Cloud at 0 degrees centigrade, it will form a gel at around -10 and turn to wax at around -35. For bio diesels these temperatures will be less. This can result in vehicles not starting or wax crystals blocking fuel lines and pumps. Diesel flow additives can be bought from most automotive stores to counteract this.