Driving in the snow - is it worth the risk?

As the country is gripped with freezing temperatures and snow covering most parts of the UK. We wanted to share with you some tips on how to stay safe if you must make that essential journey. Our best advice would always be to avoid putting yourself or your family at any harm, listen to the experts and if they say don’t travel unless completely necessary – heed their warnings or face the consequences.

If you are venturing out in the car in the snow,

Make sure your vehicle is cleared properly prior to setting off. Is it illegal to drive with snow on your car? We found this information on the RAC website –

The law

There is no road law that says it is illegal to drive with snow on your car.

However, the Highway Code stipulates that if driving in adverse weather conditions you must, by law, be able to see out of every glass panel in your vehicle.

This is supported by the section 41D of the Road Traffic Act 1988, meaning it is a legal requirement to have a clear view of the road ahead before you set off.

Failure to do so could incur a fine, but more importantly could place your life, the lives of your passengers and the lives of those around you in danger.

This also means ensuring your windscreen is de-iced on the outside and thoroughly demisted on the inside.

Snow on your roof?

As for the snow on the roof, while, again, there is no law stating it is illegal to drive with snow on your roof, if it falls off onto your windscreen while driving or flies into the path of another car then you could be penalised for such offences as 'driving without due consideration' or 'using a motor vehicle in a dangerous condition' - again, not worth the risk.

Even if you’re only making a two-minute journey, by not thoroughly cleaning your car of snow, ice, or condensation – including all windows, lights and even anything that could fall off into the path of another motorists – you’re breaking the law and leaving yourself liable to a run in with the police.

That means fully wiping snow or frost from every window (a quick once over with a credit card or CD case is not good enough!). Use a proper scraper and de-icer. It might cost a few pounds, but it works and will save you time.

Here are some other things to consider:

  1. Plan your journey – get updates on local traffic reports to check weather conditions where you are travelling to and the route you will take.

  2. Allow more time for your journey – vehicles will be travelling at much slower speeds to stay safe so the travelling time with automatically be longer than in normal conditions

  3. Ensure your wipers are switched off when starting the car as if they are frozen to your windscreen damage could be caused to the motor or the blades if they are switched on.

  4. Top up your screen wash – make sure to buy good quality screen wash that will not freeze up.

  5. Have you checked your tyres lately – are they at the right pressure and is the tread adequate as there will be a lot less grip in snowy conditions.

  6. Be prepared – if you have ventured out and gone against recommendations not to – be sure to ensure you have

  • Warm Clothes

  • Food

  • Drink

  • Blanket/s

  • Scraper

  • Your phone is charged

  • Shovel

  • Suitable footwear


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