DVSA gives advice on driving in snow and ice

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is warning motorists to be prepared for driving in snow and icy conditions, with cold weather hitting parts of Great Britain over the coming days.

In winter, it’s even more important to check that your vehicle is well maintained and serviced. Before going on a journey, make sure your vehicle is in good running order, and that you know what to do if you encounter icy stretches on roads.

Ashley Bateman, DVSA’s Assistant Chief Driving Examiner, said:

“DVSA’s priorities are to help you through a lifetime of safe driving and to help you keep your vehicle safe to drive.

“Road conditions can suddenly change during the winter, so being well prepared is vital.

“Drivers can help to keep themselves and other road users safe by carrying out basic safety checks and following the advice in The Highway Code about driving in winter weather.”


Drivers can prepare by planning their journey, including:

checking the weather forecast and road conditions

considering other routes or types of transport

allowing extra time for your journey

ensuring that your vehicle is prepared for the journey

carrying warm clothing, blankets, hot drinks, a torch, a shovel, and suitable footwear


Drivers should:

keep the lights, windows and mirrors clean and free from ice and snow

add anti-freeze to the radiator and winter additive to the windscreen washer bottles

make sure wipers and lights are in good working order

check that tyres have plenty of tread depth and are maintained at the correct pressure


When driving, drivers should:

avoid sudden actions as these could cause loss of control

use dipped headlights in poor conditions

keep well back from the road user in front – stopping distances can be 10 times greater than on dry roads

drive at a slow speed in as high a gear as possible; accelerate and brake very gently

drive particularly slowly on bends where loss of control is more likely – brake progressively on the straight before you reach a bend

All road users can follow The Highway Code on Twitter (twitter.com/HighwayCodeGB) and Facebook (facebook.com/HighwayCodeGB) to get regular reminders about the rules, including driving in bad weather. The Highway Code is essential reading and can help everyone with their shared responsibility to cut the number of deaths and injuries that occur on our roads every day. A study in 2014 found 80% of people who use these social media services improved their knowledge as a result.


Further Information

Contact DVSA press office to arrange a media interview with a driver safety expert about driving in bad weather: pressoffice@dvsa.gov.uk or 0115 936 6135.