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  1. ITV Report

Winter Driving: How to stay safe on the roads

The results showed that less than a third of motorists surveyed pack a basic winter resilience kit Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A survey has shown that over 260 motorists from the Midlands focused on driving and vehicle safety in winter.

The results showed that less than a third of motorists surveyed pack a basic winter resilience kit and just under half didn’t know the UK minimum tyre tread depth for cars.

So how can drivers stay safe on the roads?

Before setting off:

  • Ask yourself if the journey is really necessary
  • Allow time to prepare the car; make sure all windows and mirrors are free from ice and snow and the heater has de-misted the inside
  • Check the lights and wipers are in good working order
  • Check the tyres are in good condition
  • Pack a basic winter resilience kit, including: ice scraper, de-icer, boots, shovel, first aid kit, sunglasses, jump leads, atlas or satnav, blankets and a torch. Other items may include a mobile phone with a fully charged battery, tow rope, blankets, warning triangle, bottled water and snacks, salt / sand (to help clear snow or ice) or an old sack or rug (to put under the wheels if you do get stuck)

When driving:

  • SLOW DOWN. Ice can still be present, even on a gritted route
  • Remember stopping distances can be up to ten times further in icy conditions
  • Always apply brakes gently. Release them and depress clutch if the car skids
  • Manoeuvre carefully and gently
  • Select second gear when pulling away, easing your foot off the clutch gently to avoid wheel-spin
  • If you do get stuck, straighten the steering and clear the snow from the wheels. Put a sack or old rug in front of the driving wheels to give the tyres some grip. Once on the move again, try not to stop until you reach firmer ground