Money Matters Team

Advice for winter driving

By Money Matters Team 08/01/2021

Get prepared this winter

Driving in winter can be a challenge! So read on if you need to drive in snow, sleet and ice.

First of all, relax. Even the most experienced drivers can be nervous when they’re faced with rain, sleet, ice, snow - and only eight hours of gloomy daylight. But with a little know how and a few top tips we can help you stay safe on winter roads.

Winter driving checks

There are lots of things to think about when you’re driving in UK winter weather. Be prepared and do some simple driving checks before you head out on the roads. Here are some top tips:

  • Check your tyre tread as this helps with grip and traction if on ice or snow
  • Check your wiper blades to make sure they are effective at clearing your screen. Double check they’re not frozen to your screen before getting in the car
  • Driving on ice can be dangerous, when roads are icy, drive extremely carefully and avoid sudden actions as these could cause you to lose control
  • Drive slowly in the highest gear possible - accelerate and brake very gently
  • Slow down more than usual on bends where you’re more likely to skid. Brake gently on the straight before you reach a bend and steer smoothly around it, avoiding sudden actions
  • When there is snow or ice check the car's grip on the road surface by choosing a safe place to brake gently. If the steering feels unresponsive it could mean your car is losing its grip on the road. Be extra careful if you are driving in snow without snow tyres.
  • Check the local weather forecast for warnings of icy or snowy weather. Unless your journey is essential don’t drive in these conditions. If you have to go outit is, take great care and allow more time for your journey. Take note of message signs that may provide information about weather, road and traffic conditions ahead
  • Driving in rain can be just as dangerous, so keep well back from the car in front of you as stopping distances can be 10 times greater on wet surfaces than on dry roads.
  • Watch out for snowploughs which may throw out snow on either side. Don’t overtake them unless the lane you intend to use has already been cleared.
  • Be prepared for the road conditions to change quickly over relatively short distances.

Are you insured to drive in snow?

In addition to the Highway Code advice, make sure you and your vehicle are prepared for winter driving. Check your car insurance and breakdown cover are up-to-date and that you have an emergency kit including: de-icer and ice scraper, torch, warm clothing, boots, first aid kit, jump leads, a shovel plus plenty of food and water in case you get stuck or your vehicle breaks down. Once you’ve decided on the most suitable insurance for you, you’ll be insured regardless of the weather. However, it always make sense to be very careful in extreme weather, and you shouldn’t venture out unless it’s really necessary.

By preparing now, you may have less reason to worry about driving in the bleak, mid-winter. You never know, you might even become a better, safer driver come spring!

This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.

This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.