How to Stay Safe While Driving in Autumn and Winter

18 Oct

UK weather is unpredictable, to say the least. During the autumn and winter months, we should be prepared for hazardous conditions on the road. Recent stats highlighted that November is the most common month for road traffic accidents in the UK. When looking at specific dates, four out of five of the dates with the most road accidents all happen in winter months, with the 19th of January being the most common day for accidents. As you would expect, evenings are the most common time of day for accidents, whilst people are commuting home from work.

It’s important to consider the driving risks that arise as we enter a new season and the weather starts to change. In this article, we’re sharing our advice for checking your vehicle is autumn and winter-ready and how to drive safely in adverse weather conditions.

How to Check Your Vehicle is Safe to Drive

  • Check your tyre pressure and look for any cuts and bulges as this could indicate that the tyres need to be changed.
  • Your tyre tread depth should also be checked regularly to make sure that they are at least 1.6mm. You could also consider putting on winter tyres to increase their grip.
  • Have a quick look under your vehicle on a regular basis to check for leaks.
  • Check your windscreen wipers and replace them if necessary. Make sure the washer bottle is topped up with screen wash and keep a can of de-icer in the car at all times.
  • Be sure to keep your fuel topped up and don’t drive on an empty tank.

Driving Safely in Adverse Weather Conditions

  • Before driving, remove any ice or snow from your windows, bonnet and headlights. It’s against the law to drive with snow or ice on your vehicle, including its roof.
  • Drive at slow speeds and with caution. You will need 3 – 12 times the amount of stopping distance than you need without precipitation.
  • Do not break quickly, or you risk spinning out of control.
  • If you begin to hydroplane, hold your steering wheel straight and take your foot off the accelerator.
  • When driving in a rain or thunderstorm, turn your headlights, wipers and demister on to increase visibility.
  • When driving in foggy conditions, use your low beams or fog lights as well as turning on your wipers and demister.
  • If you’re driving in extremely thick fog, roll down all of your windows so that you can hear other vehicles around you.
  • If you can’t see the road’s edge due to fog, pull off on the left and turn on your hazard warning lights. Don’t start driving again until you can see.
  • If you are caught in a thunderstorm, pull off the road into an open area and away from trees (to avoid a lightning strike).
  • If snow is forecast, always keep a shovel in your boot along with a thick blanket, snacks and water in case you get stranded.
  • If your vehicle gets stuck in snow, straighten your wheels and accelerate at a slow pace.

Car Insurance from Your Local Broker

Not only is car insurance a legal requirement, securing the right cover for your vehicle is important to ensure that you’re not left out of pocket in the event of an accident. In addition to comprehensive cover which can pay for damage even if the accident was your fault, we can provide:

  • GAP Insurance: If you have finance, contract hire or lease on your car, GAP Insurance will cover the shortfall between the current value of your car and what’s left on your finance, should your car be a total loss (write off).
  • Motor Excess Protection: Claiming on your Car Insurance for a fault or delay in third-party payment would normally result in you needing to pay an agreed excess to process the claim. A Motor Excess Policy protects you against such charges.
  • Breakdown Cover: A choice of cover, from roadside breakdown only to roadside, nationwide recovery, homestart, onward travel and European assistance in one, to get you home as safely and as quickly as possible.

View all of our car insurance solutions here

Need Advice?

Speak to our personal insurance team today to discuss your car insurance. Call us on 02920 853759 or email If our clients have an accident or break down, our in-house claims team will always be on hand to help.