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Did you know?

  • Leaving the engine running while stationary, or ‘engine idling’ to defrost windows is an offence under Rule 123 of The Highway Code and authorities have the power to issue £20 fixed penalties for any contravention.
  • Rule 229 of the Highway Code says: “Before you set off you MUST be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all your windows.” If the windscreen is obstructed in any way, the police can fine drivers £60.
When driving in snow and ice:

  • Make slow gentle manoeuvres to stay safe while driving in snow and ice, as stopping distances are 10 times longer.
  • When brakes are needed, they should be applied gently.
  • Pull away in second gear, easing your foot off the clutch gently to avoid wheel-spin.

  • Keep a constant speed and try to avoid having to change gear.
  • If stuck in snow, straighten the steering and clear the snow from the wheels. Put a sack or old rug in front of the driving wheels to give the tyres some grip.
  • Wear comfortable and dry footwear while driving.

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Planning: Plan a journey carefully and listen to updates on weather and traffic news to help make it as smooth as possible.

Time: Allow more time than usual before leaving. Clear all windows and lights of snow and ice for visibility, and clear your number plate. Clear snow from the roof, bonnet and rear of the vehicle as it can pose issues of safety to your driving and other road users.

Look: Look ahead to avoid any erratic steering and braking actions.
Maintain speed and a safe distance and avoid tailgating at all costs.

Control: Always maintain full control to ensure vehicle stability while braking, accelerating, changing gear and applying steering angle as smoothly as possible.

Climate: Dress appropriately for the climate and take a hat, scarf and winter coat plus blankets and suitable provisions in case of a breakdown, getting stranded at the roadside or stuck in a lengthy traffic congestion.

Darkness: Driving in the dark can be tiring so take a break when necessary to stay safe.


Winter vehicle checklist:

  • Check that the battery, ignition, lights, brakes, exhaust, wipers are all operational and fluid levels are all topped up.
  • Check that tyres are all in good condition on a monthly basis making sure they have plenty of tread and have the correct tyre inflation to provide a safe grip.

    • Check and replace windscreen wipers before they start to leave streaks or scratches on the screen when in use.
    • Check the fuel level is sufficient for the journey and do not risk running out of fuel.
    • Check all electrics including interior heating, wipers, and heated screens are working.

This information sheet is free for employers to download and distribute to their drivers.
It may not be amended in any way | Copyright 2021 National Highways.