Top Tips for driving on ice and snow

Like if this guide is helpful
Winter is here again, and with it comes difficult and potentially dangerous driving conditions. Of course, it’s always best to avoid unnecessary car travel when winter weather closes in, but if there’s a trip you have to make, or you get caught in a sudden snowstorm, it pays to be prepared.

Step One

The first step is to make sure your car is prepared before setting off. Get your dealership or local mechanic to check your coolant levels, lights and tyre treads before winter really sets in. Also, never drive off in a car that hasn’t been completely defrosted and cleared of snow and ice. Driving with impaired visibility is an offence and potentially very dangerous.
Never drive off in a car that hasn’t been completely defrosted
Link to an eBay page Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Link to an eBay page
Never drive off in a car that hasn’t been completely defrosted

Step two

Once you’re underway, the key words to remember if you encounter snow or ice are ‘slow and smooth’. Drive slower and further away from traffic ahead than you would in clear weather, to give you more time to react. Accelerate smoothly, brake smoothly and steer smoothly – don’t make any sudden or jerky movements.
Accelerate smoothly, brake smoothly and steer smoothly
Link to an eBay page Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Link to an eBay page
Accelerate smoothly, brake smoothly and steer smoothly

Step three

Almost all new cars are fitted with anti-lock brakes (ABS), but it’s important to understand how they work. If you brake suddenly and the system detects the brakes are about to lock, it will take over and begin ‘pulsing’ the brakes – turning them on and off rapidly. You should be familiar with how this feels, and also remember that ABS lets you stay in control of the car while braking, meaning you can steer away from hazards.
It’s important to understand how ABS brakes work
Link to an eBay page Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Link to an eBay page
It’s important to understand how ABS brakes work

Knowing how to react in bad weather is vital, but there are also a number of products you can buy that will come in extremely handy when ice or snow hits – or if conditions become so bad that you get stuck.
Gunson Anti-Freeze and Coolant Tester
Edit Link Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Gunson Anti-Freeze and Coolant Tester
First off, the Gunson Anti-Freeze and Coolant Tester allows you to check that you’re using the correct mix of coolant and water to prevent engine parts corroding or freezing in harsh weather.



AA Emergency Winter Car Kit
Edit Link Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
AA Emergency Winter Car Kit

Should the worst happen and you do get stuck, you’ll be glad to have the AA Emergency Winter Car Kit on board. This useful set includes a snow shovel, a foil blanket, an LED torch, a hi-vis vest, snow and ice grips, booster cables and ponchos – all packed into a heavy-duty carrier bag.

Halfords Portable Powerpack 200
Edit Link Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Halfords Portable Powerpack 200

Bad winter weather can really take its toll on car batteries, and a power pack will allow to start a car with a flat battery without the hassle of having to connect it to another car. The Halfords Portable Powerpack 200, is our pick of the models on offer.


Bluecol Spray-on Snow Grip
Edit Link Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Bluecol Spray-on Snow Grip

Winter tyres are the best option for increased traction in cold weather, but a full set can cost in the region of £400. If you’re looking for a cheaper solution that might just get you out of trouble in a pinch, consider Bluecol Spray-on Snow Grip

Sealey Vehicle Traction Tracks
Edit Link Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Sealey Vehicle Traction Tracks

Or try Sealey Vehicle Traction Tracks (available for around £25). Neither is a true substitute for winter tyres, of course, but they could well help you get out of a snowy car park or driveway and on the road home.


Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides