Tips to stay safe when driving in wintry conditions

23rd January 2013

Motorists have been told how they can keep themselves and others safe while undertaking a road trip during the current cold snap.

James Mills, author of the Buying Guide for, believes that a culmination of problems has made the majority of UK roads hazardous in recent weeks.

"In the current conditions with snow, with ice, with water, with potholes galore, really what a driver needs to do is firstly make sure their car is ship-shape," Mr Mills underlined.

As a "first line of defence", as the motoring expert put it, drivers should service their vehicle as soon as possible to check for any problems and ensure the air pressure of the motor's tyres correspond to the manufacturers recommended pressure.

"Potholes destroy tyres and wheels if they are set too low or too high in terms of air pressure," Mr Mills pointed out.

If the wintry weather becomes too severe, the motoring author acknowledged that it may be best to put off a road trip if possible.

However, Mr Mills was keen to add: "If you have to, then the next thing you need, especially for long distances are winter tyres. You just won't believe how good winter tyres are in the snow – they are unstoppable."

The expert stated that winter tyres are popular products across Europe – especially around Scandinavia – at this time of year. This is because they are made of a softer rubber compound than standard tyres, which helps improve grip and flexibility when a car is travelling across roads covered in ice and snow.

Grip is further enhanced by the fact that winter tyres come complete with a unique tread pattern, which offers deeper tread separations to repel water.

Of course, it is also about preparation when heading out on a road trip during wintry conditions. Mr Mills explained: "You need all your bits and pieces with you in the winter, so you need a de-icer, scraper, a blanket and a high-visibility vest. You need some decent boots in your car. You might even want a pair of jump-leads and a shovel if you want to take it that far."

The point to always have appropriate driving shoes at hand throughout the winter months was echoed by road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist this week.

With temperatures plunging and snow building up, the group acknowledged that many motorists – particularly female drivers – are wearing winter footwear in order to keep their feet warm and dry.

However, David Williams, the head of GEM Motoring Assist, stated that fashionable Ugg boots and Hunter wellington boots are not appropriate footwear when stepping behind the wheel of a car.

"We know that fashion dictates which winter boots are popular this season, however, many of them don't offer enough grip and could cause your foot to slip off or in between the peddles when driving," Mr Williams pointed out.

"This could cause a serious accident if control of your car is lost."

Looking to buy winter tyres online? ATS Euromaster can help with your request.

Posted by Danielle Barge