Useful Tips for winter driving in the United Kingdom

Ice and snow, driving tips for UK roads

Kevin Hall of Airport Rentals has had a lot of experience driving in a United Kingdom winter, having lived there for decades. He’s also been in the car industry long enough to know that there is an increase in accidents in December, January and February. 
With this knowledge in mind, he has put together a handy list of things for our rental customers to remember when driving in the colder months and snowy, icy conditions associated with them. Kevin says: “It can be hard to anticipate the conditions you may encounter while driving this winter, particularly in an unfamiliar area. It is always important to be prepared for any hazardous or unexpected weather.”

When driving in winter in the UK:

  • Watch weather reports for your route and destination in advance. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected.
  • Rent a winter weather-friendly vehicle with tyres equipped for driving on snowy and icy roads.
  • Ensure windscreen wipers are properly cleared and cleaned before driving.
  • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads, including accelerating, stopping and turning.
  • Know when to brake and when to steer. Plan as early as possible and always look 20 to 30 seconds ahead of your vehicle to ensure you have time and space to stop safely.
  • Increase following distance. The normal, dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to 10 seconds.
  • If your vehicle skids, do not panic. Continue to look and steer in the direction you want the vehicle to go. Avoid slamming on the brakes.
  • If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. The car provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you.
  • ALWAYS  protect yourself against having to pay the excess in the event of a ding - take out excess protection, as more accidents happen in the winter and very often it’s not your fault 
Once all those tips have been considered and correctly applied, the options for winter road trips are endless from discovering the charm of snow-covered Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh or Glasgow to touring enchanting Wales from Cardiff. Happy driving, and stay safe on those snowy British roads!

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