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Driving on ice and snow


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Stay safe in icy or snowy conditions
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Before you set off, clear all the snow off your car, including the roof and headlights.  If you drive with snow piled up on the roof and bonnet it could fall, reducing your visibility or falling into the path of another vehicle or a pedestrian.

Make sure your windscreen is clear of ice and mist – it is illegal to drive without full visibility through all your windows.

Watch out for icy conditions - look for clues such as ice on the pavement or on your windscreen before you start your journey and take extra care.

Keep a safe stopping distance between you and the car in front – leave as much as 10 times the normal gap.

Keep your speed down, accelerate gently and change up to a higher gear as quickly as possible.

Try not to brake suddenly - it may lock up your wheels and you could skid further.

Look out for winter service vehicles spreading grit salt or using snow ploughs. They have flashing amber beacons and travel at slower speeds - around 25mph. Stay well back because salt or spray can be thrown across the road. Do not overtake unless it is safe to do so - there may be uncleared snow on the road ahead.

Things to keep in your car:

  • ice scraper
  • de-icer
  • a fully-charged mobile phone and charger
  • torch
  • first-aid kit
  • tow rope
  • blankets
  • warm coat and boots
  • jump leads
  • snow shovel
  • warning triangle
  • food and a warm drink in a flask
  • sunglasses to help you see in low winter sun

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