13th December 2022

10 tips for driving in the snow

It’s no surprise to most that there have been bouts of adverse weather over the past few weeks. With colder winds sweeping the country, the East and South have been impacted as well as the North, and further weather warnings for February have been issued. Cold weather is prime for creating not only pressure and disruption whilst travelling on the roads but will also single-handedly trial many vehicles – especially classics. Footman James’ partners, RAC, have even increased resources both at the roadside and at call centres in response to this.

Therefore, we’ve got some driving tips that are beneficial when driving in the winter months. Breakdowns are almost twice as common during these cold months than other times of the year, so be sure to save yourself some strife by considering these top tips. We know that many of you will do these as a matter of course, but it’s also worth having a reminder of the basics. 

  1. Be prepared to leave 10 minutes earlier than usual after an episode of poor weather. This should give you ample time to prepare the vehicle for your journey, including de-icing the windscreen.
  2. Try and plan your route using major roads or bus routes – these are more likely to have been gritted and cleared in the morning and therefore will be naturally safer to drive on.
  3. Stick to gentle manoeuvres. It sounds obvious, but it really is the key to safe driving in snow or icy conditions. Remember that when you attempt to break that stopping distances can be up to 10 times longer.
  4. Change into dry shoes for driving - It makes for a more comfortable and safer journey if you are wearing shoes that won’t slip on the pedals after trudging in the snow.
  5. Always clear snow from the roof of your vehicle to prevent it potentially falling whilst in motion and obscuring your windscreen.
  6. Check that your bulbs are working, and lenses are clean. When visibility is reduced, it is important to use your headlights to remain seen.
  7. Address any vehicle repair or maintenance needs, before attempting to drive in adverse weather conditions.
  8. Check your windscreen washer fluid – don’t use tap water. Use screen wash top-ups to reduce the risk of it freezing and blocking your vision again whilst driving.
  9. Check your tyres are neither over-inflated nor under-inflated; both can be hazardous in icy conditions.
  10. Always make sure that you have your breakdown and accident numbers available to hand should the unexpected happen.

These simple steps can help ensure that you stay safe not only driving through winter, but through unexpected bouts of bad weather. Knowing what to check and how to address issues whilst driving in such conditions can make all the difference to your safety on the roads.  

As part of our FJ+ options, you can chose to add FJ Rescue to your policy and ensure that your vehicle is in good hands. Our Breakdown Assistance options are offered with our partner the RAC, who are the most experienced breakdown provider in the UK. 

The information contained in this blog post is based on sources that we believe are reliable and should be understood as general information only. It is not intended to be taken as advice with respect to any specific or individual situation and cannot be relied upon as such.

The single most important point for driving in the snow is having winter or all seasons tyres fitted to your vehicle.

Judge, 11/02/2021