Driving in Winter and Snow

Over the winter months it’s worth preparing for unpredictable conditions, so you can stay safe and on the move.

Take a look at our winter driving tips. They include how-tos for preparing to set off, as well as driving in snow, floods and heavy rain.

 

Before setting off

  • Clear your windscreen and windows completely.
  • Also make sure your number plates are clear.
  • Clear snow off your car’s roof. It can fall onto the front or rear windscreens and obscure your view.
  • Check the weather forecast and traffic news.
  • Take routes down major roads if possible. They’re more likely to be cleared and gritted in bad weather.

 

While on the road

  • In treacherous conditions, slow right down. Wet or icy roads and poor visibility will increase your reaction times to hazards.
  • Keep a safe gap between you and the vehicle in front. Hanging back can give you extra time to react to hazards.
  • Stay on the lookout for pedestrians, bikes and motorbikes. They may be hard to spot in poor weather.
  • Accelerate and brake gently and with extra care.
  • Use your lights to improve your visibility in poor weather.

 

Driving on snow and ice

  • Pull away in second gear, easing your foot off the clutch gently.
  • Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin.
  • Brake gently and move down to a low gear earlier than you normally would and allow your vehicle’s speed to fall slowly. This will avoid locking the wheels.
  • Take corners slowly and steer gently to avoid skidding.
  • If the vehicle skids, don’t brake. Steer into the direction of the skit and gently ease off the accelerator.
  • If you’re stuck in snow, don’t rev the wheels because it’ll dig the wheels in further. Put the vehicle into a higher gear and slowly move the vehicle forwards and backwards to creep out. Use mats under the wheels to gain traction if you’re stuck.

 

Driving in heavy rain and floods

  • Keep a decent distance between you and the vehicle in front, because spray can reduce visibility.
  • Don’t use cruise control. You may need to lift off the accelerator if you lose traction.
  • If steering becomes unresponsive and the tyres can’t grip the road, just ease off the accelerator.
  • When driving on a flooded road, drive very slowly. Stay in first gear and drive over the highest point in the road if possible. Don’t drive through if a vehicle is coming the other way, because it may cause waves that return to your car.
  • Only cross a flooded area if you can still see the road through it.
  • As you come out of a flooded area, gently test your brakes before speeding up.

 

Want to get your car winter-ready? Our network of over 400 Vauxhall Retailers are on-hand to help with winter tyres and winter accessories such as de-icer, screen wash and scrapers.