We use cookies to personalise content, to provide social media features and to analyse website traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Read more here.

For the best browsing experience, please upgrade your browser to the latest version of Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer.
More information »

Find your Vehicle

Enter your vehicle registration to continue.

Find

I don't know my registration number

Enter Vehicle Details

Find my vehicle
Find an autocentre

Basket

£0.00
Close Button
 

Item added to basket

  • Your basket is empty
Subtotal £0.00
Total £0.00

  • Centre Details
  • Map
  • Services

Driving in snow: Tips to stay safe

Image for Driving in snow: Tips to stay safe article

Snowy conditions can make driving a challenge, so it's crucial to prepare yourself before making a journey in the snow.

Share this:

Snowy conditions can make driving a challenge, so it's crucial to prepare yourself before making a journey in the snow.

When getting behind the wheel in the snow, motorists are urged to take extra care and adjust their driving to the road conditions.

How should I prepare?

Plan your journey

Before setting off, you need to plan your journey and keep an eye on traffic updates and local weather reports. Snow can block roads and makes accidents more likely, causing traffic jams, so check ahead.

Give yourself more time

Driving in the snow is going to take longer than a journey in normal weather conditions, so allow yourself more time, and make sure you clear your windows, mirrors and lights.

Make sure you clear the snow off your roof too, people often forget this but the snow can slide off while driving, obscuring the driver's vision or flying into the windscreen of the car behind, potentially causing an accident.

Take care with this because, rule 229 of the Highway Code says drivers must "Remove all snow that might fall off into the path of other road users" and under section 41D of the Road Traffic Act 1998, when driving in bad weather conditions you must be able to see out of every glass panel on your vehicle.

Get a professional winter check

When it snows, the low temperatures can cause your battery to fail so your car won't start or your coolant to freeze causing serious engine damage. It's definitely worth getting your car checked over by Halfords Autocentres before the cold weather arrives.

Our Winter Bundle includes a 10-point safety assessment of all your car's vital systems that will be tested by the cold weather such as: your battery, lights and tyres. It also includes an antifreeze change to stop your coolant freezing and a Duxback windscreen treatment which helps keep your windscreen clear of rain and ice.

Check your tyres

It's important to check the tread on your tyres is adequate when driving in the snow. The legal and minimum tread depth is 1.6mm. Get a Free Tyre Check at Halfords Autocentres.

If you live in an area where snow is quite common, it might be worth changing to winter tyres that provide more grip in cold conditions. Read this guide on winter tyres to find out more.

An alternative to this is to fit all season tyres which are a compromise between summer and winter tyres. This means you don't need to switch tyres when the weather changes.

Pack a winter car breakdown kit

If the worst happens while you're out in the snow, you want to be prepared. We advise that you put together a winter car breakdown kit, which includes the following items:

  • A torch, with extra batteries
  • A hi-vis vest to make you more visible
  • A warning triangle to place at least 10 metres behind your vehicle
  • A blanket to keep you warm
  • Some food and a drink
  • Spare screen-wash, de-icer and an ice scraper
  • A phone charger
  • A map
  • A first aid kit
  • Some jump leads
  • A snow shovel
  • Cardboard that you can put under your wheels should you get stuck in the snow
  • A tow rope

Check your screen wash and wipers

You should use a screen-wash that protects your windscreen to at least -35C to prevent water from freezing.

What to do if you get stuck

If you get stuck, turn your steering wheel from side-to-side to try to push all of the snow out the way of the tyres. Do not move the car if your wheels are spinning, this will dig you into the snow deeper.

Use a shovel to clear the snow out of the way, if possible, then get back into your car and shift from forward to reverse and back again; lightly accelerate until your vehicle gets going.

If you are unable to move your car, make yourself visible to other motorists by putting your hazard lights on and call for help.

You can attempt to tow your car to get it unstuck, but for this you need a tow rope and another motorist who is confident in towing. Do not attempt to tow your car unless you or the person helping you is fully confident and knows how to do it correctly as it could make matters worse.

Top tips for driving in the snow

  • Wear warm, comfortable clothes and footwear
  • Pack an emergency kit in the car
  • Brakes, steering and the accelerator should be operated smoothly and slowly
  • Try to move off in second gear, as this will help reduce the chance of your wheels slipping
  • Accelerate gently, use low revs and change to high gears as quickly as you can
  • Maintain a good stopping distance between you and the car in front (10 times the normal recommendation)
  • Wear sunglasses to reduce the glare of low winter sun
  • Keep your speed down

RELATED PRODUCTS

Winter Preparation Bundle

Winter Preparation Bundle

£39.99

Book online

Free Battery Check

Free Battery Check

£0.00

Book online

Free Tyre Check

Free Tyre Check

£0.00

Book online

Coolant/Antifreeze Change

Coolant/Antifreeze change

£39.99

Book online

Diagnostic Check

Diagnostic Check

£49.99

Book online