Tips to stay safe on icy roads

As the cold snap continues and temperatures are once again expected to plummet, drivers have been given simple tips and tricks to stay safe despite the ice on cars and roads.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 7th February 2018, 2:07 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th February 2018, 2:10 pm

Motoring giant issued guidance for motorists on how not to be defeated by ice, and to stay safe when driving in frosty conditions.

Checking tyre tread, being smart with de-icing and de-misting windscreens and knowing which gear to drive in will help motorists to stay safe in icy conditions.

The team at advised drivers to heat their cars up slowly to prevent the windscreen misting on the inside, and explained how to make simple de-icing sprays by mixing water with salt, alcohol or white vinegar.

Motorists can also create makeshift frost guards out of blankets or towels, especially if they are soaked in salt water and laid over the windscreen the night before.

Drivers should also keep to slow speeds in high gears to retain as much control of the car as possible – you may even find it better to start off in second gear.

If you skid, come off the gas, do not brake and steer into the direction of the skid in order to straighten up the car.

It is also advisable to stay on main roads as they are more likely to be treated or used well enough to have melted ice – or even simply avoid the journey altogether where possible.

Tim Alcock of said: “Driving in icy conditions is never fun, so don’t make it any harder than it has to be.

“Use our tips to stay safe on icy roads and keep the miserable business of de-icing and de-misting windscreens to a minimum.

“Always be prepared for a breakdown; make sure you’ve got your breakdown assistance details to hand, and that you have warm clothes and a torch in the car.”

Dos and don’ts for driving in icy conditions


Check the inflation and tread of your tyres – the legal minimum is 1.6mm but experts say it should be at least 3mm to be as safe as possible.

Make sure your lights, mirrors and number plates are clear as well as all your windows (you are legally required to be able to see out of all your windows)

Remove any snow on the roof that might fall and obstruct your view as you drive.

Drive slowly in as high a gear as possible

Allow greater stopping distances

Keep your oil, screen wash and fuel levels up.


Drive if you don’t have to; if the road is icy and the journey isn’t necessary, just don’t do it.

Pour boiling water on your windscreen to de-ice it – it’s a great way to crack it. You can make effective de-icing sprays by mixing salt and water, or even two parts alcohol to one part water, or three parts white vinegar to one part water.

Brake or accelerate quickly.

Start the blower on hot to de-mist the windscreen. This actually causes mist by heating up air that then cools and condenses on the windscreen. Start the heater on cold and slowly turn it up as the air gets drier. You can even use air con along with the heater.

Use anything but a proper window scraper to de-ice the car – you could damage the windows and windscreen and break whatever it is you’re using.