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Safe Driving in Winter

Last updated  21 May 2018

Good vehicle maintenance is important all year but it is worth taking particular care in the winter to make sure that your vehicle is ready for bad weather travel.

fire engine in snow

Use the POWDERY checklist to ensure you check everything:

PETROL or Diesel – make sure you have enough for your journey and know where to fill up;

OIL– check levels once a month;

WATER – check radiator and screen wash once a month;

DAMAGE – check wiper, lights, etc for signs of wear and tear or damage;

ELECTRICS – check lights, indicators and controls are working properly;

RUBBER – are your tyres well inflated, legal, with good tread and free from damage?

YOURSELF ! – are you well rested and fit to drive? Are you taking any medications that could make it unsafe for you to drive?

Put together a winter emergency kit for your vehicle – you never know when you might need these items:

  • Ice scraper and de-icer;
  • Torch and spare batteries;
  • Warm clothes and blankets – for you and all passengers;
  • Boots;
  • First aid kit;
  • Jump leads;
  • A shovel;
  • Road atlas (in case your phone or sat nav loses power);
  • Sunglasses (low winter sun and glare off snow can be dazzling).

Be informed before you take a journey – check the latest traffic and weather:

  • The Highways England website includes the latest traffic reports and maps showing how traffic is flowing on England’s motorways and major A roads. Or keep up to date with the latest on winter driving through the Highways England social media channels @winterhighways ;
  • Take weather conditions into account when planning your route. Visit the Met Office website or listen to local radio broadcasts. Conditions can change so check weather updates;
  • Always allow extra time in severe weather;
  • Listen to warnings or advice and consider whether or not your journey is essential;
  • On the move you can still get information by radio broadcasts of overhead messages on motorways.

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