How to drive safely in the snow - 10 winter driving tips

Posted on Friday, 2 March 2018

Snow may be common in the UK, but that doesn’t mean everything runs smoothly when blizzards descend. This week saw a red weather warning in Scotland and some of the worst conditions we’ve seen in years throughout Great Britain, so what better time to remind ourselves how to drive safely in the snow?

With this in mind, your friends at Airport Park and Ride have compiled some handy winter driving tips to make sure you all stay safe and accident-free.

1. If in doubt, sit it out

Did someone say snow day??

First and foremost, if you don’t absolutely have to be somewhere, stay at home! Even the most confident of drivers can’t predict what other road users will do, and if the roads are treacherous then anything can happen.

Of course, sometimes this just isn’t possible, so if you do venture out, tell someone where you’re going, which route you’re taking and what time you expect to arrive to be on the safe side.

2. Slow down

Confidence is admirable, but arrogance can cause accidents in adverse weather conditions. Braking, accelerating and turning will all take more time when it’s snowing, so allow extra time to do each of these and take it slower than usual.

3. Up your braking distance

The AA advises us to increase our braking distances from 3-4 seconds to 8-10 seconds when driving in the snow. This will give you the time you need to prevent any accidents, as well as reassuring other road users that you have their safety in mind too.

4. Keep moving

So you’ve made it out of the starting blocks? A top tip is to keep it that way! Even if that means crawling up to a red light awaiting the switch to amber, it’s easier to keep moving than start up again. This way, you reduce the chances of an engine failure mid-journey, and let’s face it, who wants to be stranded outside their vehicle in a snowstorm?

5. Keep it clear

Did you know you’re legally required to clear all of your windows before setting off on your journey? Give yourself plenty of time to de-ice your windscreen, front and rear windows, mirrors, lights and number plates before you embark on a journey of any kind, or you could be caught out.

6. Test your brakes regularly

Know your brakes and how they work! Maintain a steady pressure on your brakes at all times when driving in the snow, by keeping a heel on the floor. This will enable you to stay in control and eliminate the need to brake suddenly.

7. Steer into it

The classic advice to steer into a skid is worth remembering when preparing to drive in the snow. if the rear of your vehicle is skidding to the right, steer right. Make sure you keep your hands on the steering wheel and avoid sudden braking, too. It’s all too tempting to steer the opposite way to correct the skid, but this will have the opposite effect!

8. Get in gear

Drive as slowly as you can in as high a gear as possible. Got an automatic? See if you can switch to manual or select a higher gear to set off in. On icy roads, a higher gear increases your grip and avoids wheel spin.

9. Fuel up

Keep at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle before you head off in the snow – not only will it keep you, it will stop your fuel line freezing too!

10. Pack for the worst

Charge your mobile, pack a car charger, stock up on snacks and always ensure you have warm clothing, blankets and water in the car in case of the worst.

Getting to Glasgow Airport in the snow

As long as Glasgow Airport is open, we are! However, in adverse weather, we always tell our customers to plan their journey to the airport carefully, ensuring they check travel info and plan the best route in the event of road closures.

Many flights can be cancelled during times of inclement weather, so always check Glasgow Airport’s website , as well as your airline’s website, to make sure you flight is still running.

A crucial part of planning your journey before driving in the snow is to pre-book your airport parking before you go. All of our Glasgow Airport car parks have staff on site to provide you with all of the help and information you need, and you get to keep your keys too, so you know your car will be in exactly the same place and condition as you left it.

Search and compare prices for Glasgow Airport parking here .