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Snow and Extreme Cold Weather Main Page

Before snow or ice

If you make a journey when snow is forecast:

  • Make sure you have warm clothes, food, water, boots, torch and a spade in your vehicle.
  • Let someone know when you expect to arrive and your planned route.
  • Try to wait until the roads have been gritted before travelling.
  • Purchase some salt/grit to put on paths and driveways to lessen the risk of slipping on compacted snow.

During snow or ice

Avoid travel if possible. If you must travel, check the Highway Code for advice on driving in winter conditions. Use major roads if possible as there more likely to be treated and check highways agency website before travelling. A summary of the advice is:

  • Take care around gritters, don't be tempted to overtake.
  • Slow down - it can take 10 times longer to stop in snowy or icy conditions, so allow extra room.
  • Black ice isn't always visible so can be a greater hazard for both motorists and pedestrians. Black ice is formed when light rain or drizzle falls onto a freezing road surface
  • Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin.
  • Manoeuvre gently and avoid harsh braking and acceleration.
  • If you start to skid, gently easy off the accelerator and avoid braking.
  • If you need to brake hard and your car is fitted with ABS/EDS apply firm pressure to the brake pedal. However, if your car is not fitted with ABS/EDS pump the brakes don't slam them on.
  • If you get stuck, stay with your car and tie something brightly coloured to your aerial.

Look after yourself

If you go outside wear several layers of thin clothing and keep dry to prevent loss of body heat.  Watch out for signs of hypothermia:

  • Uncontrollable shivering.
  • Slow/slurred speech.
  • Memory lapse, drowsiness.
  • Loss of feeling in and pale appearance of fingers, toes, nose and ear lobes.

Some general good practice when feeling the above symptoms are;

  • Keep moving your arms and legs to help the blood circulate,
  • Take care when shovelling snow
  • Cold air makes it harder to work and breathe which adds some extra strain on the body and can be the cause of heart attacks in vulnerable people.