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5 tips for driving on icy roads

Last updated: 25/11/20

Even if it’s not snowing outside, sub-zero temperatures over the winter period may still lead to icy roads and dangerous driving conditions. Winter months are challenging for drivers, which is why it pays to be fully prepared when it comes to driving on ice. With help and advice from the RAC, we’ve outlined some of the most important tips for driving on icy roads.

Driving on ice: Tips to consider before you head off

When it comes to how to drive in icy conditions, ice and hail are the two main hazards to watch out for. Before you decide to tackle the wintry weather conditions behind the wheel, consider:

  • 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, ensure that your phone is fully charged, and that you have food, water and something to keep you warm, just in case you get stuck.

  • Clear 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

Ensuring you’re fully prepared and driving appropriately are the main ways to help you stay safe when you’re faced with driving on icy roads. You can do this by:

  1. Driving slowly and leaving 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.

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This post was contributed by RAC. 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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