Skip to content

Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn - Isle of Anglesey County Council

Winter driving tips

Extreme weather conditions and icy roads can make driving more difficult, especially in winter. By following the following advice you can help to make your journey safer and reduce delays for everyone.

  • Reduce your speed
  • Only travel at a speed at which you can stop within the distance you can see to be clear. Avoid harsh braking and acceleration, or sharp steering
  • Always reduce your speed smoothly and in plenty of time on slippery surfaces
  • Slow down in plenty of time before bends and corners
  • Braking on an icy or snow covered bend is extremely dangerous
  • To brake on ice and snow without locking your wheels, get into a low gear earlier than normal, allow your speed to fall and use your brakes gently
  • Increase the gap between you and the vehicle in front. You may need up to TEN TIMES the normal distance for braking
  • Keep your vehicle well-ventilated. The car heater turned up full can quickly make you drowsy
  • In snow, stop frequently to clean the windows, wheel arches, lights and number plates
  • Visibility will probably be reduced, so use dipped headlights
  • Let someone know where you are going and what time you hope to arrive, so that they can raise the alarm if you get into difficulties
  • Plan alternative routes in case your main choice’s becomes impassable
  • Keep your fuel tank near to full to ensure that you do not run out
  • Make sure you have a fully charged mobile phone, so you can call for help or alert someone if you’re delayed - it could be a long walk to a phone, if you don’t have a mobile phone
  • If you don’t have an emergency kit in your vehicle, at least take extra warm clothes, boots and a torch. Consider keeping a couple of long-life energy bars in the glove box
  • Clear your windows and mirrors completely of snow and ice before you set off (make sure the heater is blowing warm air before setting off - it will keep your windscreen clear)

It is recommended that you carry:

  • Tow rope
  • A shovel
  • Wellington boots
  • A hazard warning triangle
  • De-icing equipment
  • First aid kit (in good order)
  • A working torch
  • A car blanket
  • Warm clothes
  • Emergency Rations (inc hot drink in a flask - non-alcoholic, of course)
  • Mobile Phone (fully charged)

It is a good idea to have your vehicle fully services before winter starts and have the anti-freeze tested. If you can’t have it serviced, then do your own checks. In particular, check:

  • Lights are clean and working
  • Batter is fully charged
  • Windscreen, wiper blades and other windows are clean and the washer bottle filled with screen wash
  • Tyre condition, tread depth and pressure (of all the tyres, including the spare)
  • Brakes are working well
  • Fluids are kept topped up, especially windscreen wash (to the correct concentration to prevent it freezing), anti-freeze and oil