Driving on icy roads

Even if it’s not snowing outside, sub-zero temperatures over the winter period may still lead to icy roads and dangerous driving conditions.

Here the RAC run through their top tips for driving on icy roads.

Some things to consider before you head off…

  • Is the journey really necessary, or could it be postponed until road conditions improve?
  • If not, leave plenty of time for your journey as there is likely to be more congestion on the roads as people drive slower to avoid a slip.
  • Make sure you’re prepared for every scenario. Before heading off, make sure your phone is fully charged, and that you have food, water and something to keep you warm, just in case you get stuck.
  • Make sure you’ve cleared any ice or snow from your windscreens, mirrors and windows. Use your demisters to ensure you have full visibility when driving.

Five tips for driving on icy roads

  1. Drive slowly and leave a large gap between you and the car in front, as icy roads reduce tyre grip and increase breaking distances.
  2. If you do skid, make sure to steer gently into it.
  3. Keep an eye out for any potential hazards up ahead, as well as patches of ice.
  4. Accelerate, brake, steer and change gear as smoothly as possible to reduce the risk of a skid.
  5. A higher gear may be more appropriate to aid grip on packed ice.

Read our disclaimer.


The RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists and are committed to making motoring easier, safer, more affordable and more enjoyable for drivers and road users.

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