Have a safe T.R.I.P. this winter
We want you to have a safe T.R.I.P. this winter
Planning for driving in winter is essential to ensure your safety and the safety of other road users. Winter driving can be challenging due to slippery road conditions, reduced visibility, and extreme cold. Being prepared can help you have a safe TRIP this winter.
Preparing for your trip
- Make sure you get a good night's sleep before your trip
- Avoid alcohol the day before as this can disrupt sleep and affect your driving the following day
- Know what medications you're on and how they affect you. Avoid driving between midnight and 6am when you’re likely to feel most tired
T.R.I.P. Top-up, Rest, Inspect, Prepare
Be extra cautious and anticipate the actions of other drivers, as not everyone may be as prepared for winter driving.
Below are some safety tips to help you prepare for your journey and plan this winter:
fuel, oil, screen-wash
Fill up fuel, check your oil and screen-wash, ensure you're charged
Over 33% of breakdowns are caused by vehicles losing power, having engine issues, or running out of fuel. Many problems can be avoided if you check and top up your vehicle's fluid levels on a regular basis and before a long journey.
Before your trip, fill up your fuel tank and check that you have a fully charged mobile phone as winter weather can lead to longer commutes and the possibility of getting stuck in traffic.
Check you have enough screen wash before you set off. Use a washer fluid that's suitable for freezing temperatures.
Keep windows and lights clean. Winter often brings wet and icy conditions, and dirt and salt can quickly build up.
Regular maintenance is essential in winter to ensure your vehicle is operating correctly and is safe to drive.
every 2 hours
Take a break every 2 hours
To enjoy a comfortable road trip this winter, plan to take a break for at least 15 minutes every two hours.
The shorter days and the challenging conditions of winter driving makes planning a rest stop essential, especially during long journeys. Having a rest while driving is not only important for your safety but also contributes to a more enjoyable and stress-free travel experience.
Prioritise rest and well-being to ensure you're alert and prepared for any challenges that winter might bring on the road.
Use this motorway services guide to help plan where you will take a break along your route.
If you’re a disabled driver or passenger you can use this accessible services guide to find rest stops that best suit your needs.
Remember, if you have any litter: Keep it, bin it
What are the risks of not taking regular breaks?
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Your ability to detect threats decreases, and your reaction time increases.
- Negative effects on your mood and behaviour behind the wheel.
your tyre tread and pressure
Maintaining lights and well-functioning tyres is crucial for safe driving during the winter and consider switching to winter tyres for better traction.
Check tyre pressures regularly
In winter tyre pressures can decrease. Check your tyre pressures; proper inflation helps with traction and handling and therefore your safety on the road.
Inspect tread depth
Tread depth is essential for maintaining traction on wet and slippery roads. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm but most tyre and safety experts recommend a 3mm minimum.
Ensure your lights are all working
Headlights, tail lights, or brake lights not working will make it harder for you to see and be seen by others in the dark, rain and fog.
Test the brakes to make sure they are functioning properly. Avoid sudden braking and increase your distance from the car in front.
for the weather
Be prepared for winter weather - conditions can vary considerably and sometimes change at short notice. Check the weather forecast before your trip to determine if driving conditions will be safe. If conditions are severe, consider postponing your trip if possible.
If you’re heading out on two wheels in the dark, make sure you’re visible. Reflective items of clothing are best but light colours will also help others to see you.
Reduce your speed and increase your following distance to give yourself more time to react to changing road conditions. Keep a safe distance from snowploughs and gritters.
Remove snow and ice from all windows, mirrors, lights, and the roof of your vehicle for better visibility and to prevent flying debris.
Be cautious of black ice, especially on bridges, overpasses, and shaded areas.
Pack a winter emergency kit with essentials like extra warm clothing, non-perishable food, water, a flashlight, a shovel.