Winter Driving in the UK

The British winter can be unpredictable. Bad weather can strike suddenly, so the best advice when severe weather hits is to stay off the road.

But whether making deliveries, carrying out essential maintenance work, or helping vulnerable customers, we know that not everyone can take this advice. Main roads are often gritted, but side roads can be untreated, leaving the roads a mix of black ice and slush.

It isn't just what the roads are like which you have to be concerned about, either. Fog, sleet, rain, or further snow can reduce visibility and suddenly alter conditions. 

If you must drive, make sure you are prepared for the conditions:


Winter Driving Tips

1. Plan your route

Know where you are going. Don't just rely on a satnav to get you there, either - ideally, research online or with a map prior to setting off.

Try to stick to major roads such as motorways and A-roads, which are more likely to have been gritted. Try to avoid country roads. Not only may they not be gritted, but a lack of other people and potentially phone signals could cause issues.


2. Give yourself time

You should drive slower in winter conditions. Leave bigger gaps between you and other cars, as brake times may be increased.

Give yourself time in the mornings, too, to defrost your car. Windows should be completely clear of frost and ice, and all snow removed from the car, including the roof.


3. Check your vehicle over

Before you set off, you need to give your vehicle a once over to check you're well-equipped for the conditions:

ANTI-FREEZE - This is your engine’s first line of defence against sub-zero temperatures, so keep your coolant topped up

• LIGHTS - Ensure all your lights are in full working order and are clear of ice and snow. Clean them before every journey

• TYRES - Check them regularly for damage, tread depth and pressure

• WIPERS  - Make sure that your wipers are in good condition. Take care in frosty conditions, and do not try to “Flip” your wipers if there is a chance they are frozen to the screen. This may damage the wiper motor

• WINDOWS - Keep all windows and mirrors clean and free from snow and ice. Carry a scraper and some de-icer at all times

• EMERGENCY KIT - You should equip yourself with the following items: ice scraper, hi-vis clothing, warm jacket, boots, jump leads, shovel, torch, warm drink, bar of chocolate, first aid kit and a warning triangle


Also, bear in mind the following:

BATTERY - Vehicle batteries are severely tested in winter due to the extra demands of running heating systems and lights. Short journeys can place additional strain on the battery, so plan longer runs occasionally

SERVICE - Make sure that your vehicle is regularly serviced in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines


4. Use the correct tyres

Use all-season or winter tyres. While they aren't a legal requirement, and we often don't see the really icy snowy conditions of other parts of Europe or America, they're worth fitting if you have a dedicated work vehicle you will use daily over winter.



For further advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local depot or for more information on our winter range, visit www.speedyservices.com/winter


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