Preparing your vehicle for icy conditions is crucial to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road. Here are some steps as icy experts we advise you follow.

Check the weather forecast

Stay informed about the weather conditions and forecasts, especially if you know icy conditions are expected. Plan your trips accordingly and consider delaying or rescheduling if possible.

Winter tyres

Install winter tyres on your vehicle. Winter tyres have a different rubber compound and tread pattern designed to provide better traction on snow and ice. Make sure they are properly inflated.

Check your vehicle’s systems

– Brakes: Ensure your brakes are in good working condition. Consider a brake inspection if needed.

– Battery: Cold weather can put extra strain on your battery. Check the battery’s health, and replace it if necessary.

– Heater and defroster: Test your vehicle’s heating and defrosting systems to ensure they are working correctly.

– Lights: Check that all your lights are functioning, including headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals.


Ensure your vehicle’s cooling system has the right mix of antifreeze and water to prevent freezing. This mixture is typically 50/50 but follow your vehicle’s manufacturer recommendations.

Windscreen wipers and fluid

Install winter wiper blades, and fill the windscreen washer reservoir with winter-grade washer fluid that won’t freeze in cold temperatures. This helps keep your windscreen clear.

Inspect tyres

– Check tire pressure regularly and keep it at the recommended levels.

– Examine your tires for signs of wear and damage. Replace them if they are in poor condition.

Carry necessary equipment

– Ice scraper and snow brush: Keep these tools in your vehicle to clear ice and snow from your windows and mirrors.

– Shovel: A small shovel can be handy for digging out of snowdrifts.

– Sand or cat litter: Carry a bag of sand or cat litter to help improve traction if you get stuck.

– Tyre chains or traction aids: In areas with severe winter weather, consider carrying tire chains or other traction aids.

Emergency kit

Prepare an emergency kit that includes items like blankets, warm clothing, a flashlight, extra batteries, non-perishable food, water, and a first-aid kit.

Drive with caution

When driving in icy conditions, reduce your speed and increase your following distance. Avoid sudden acceleration, braking, and sharp turns. Use extra caution on bridges and overpasses, as they tend to freeze first.

Be aware of black ice

Black ice is a thin, nearly invisible layer of ice that forms on the road and is especially treacherous. Be vigilant and drive at a reduced speed when conditions are cold and wet.

Stay informed

Listen to weather and traffic updates and consider using GPS or navigation apps to check road conditions in real-time.

By following these steps and taking the necessary precautions, you can help ensure your safety while driving in icy conditions. Remember that in severe weather, it’s best to stay home or delay your trip if possible. Planning your driving route in icy conditions is essential to maximise safety and minimise the risks associated with winter driving.

Plan your route for safer roads

Opt for well-travelled, main roads and highways whenever possible. These roads are more likely to be plowed, salted, and maintained regularly. Stay away from less-travelled or rural roads that may not receive the same level of attention from road crews. These roads are more likely to be covered in snow and ice.

While en route, if you encounter unexpected road closures or hazardous conditions, be prepared to consider alternative routes. Make sure you have a map or navigation app that can help you find alternative paths.

Remember that safety should always come first when driving in icy conditions. It’s better to take extra precautions and, if possible, delay or reschedule your trip than to put yourself at risk on hazardous roads. It’s essential if you have to take the journey to cover these things in preparing your vehicle for icy conditions.