Planning your car journey in winter
In severe and wintry weather, it’s really important to plan your journey.
Preparation is everything
A few minutes preparation before you set off can save you time, money and potential delays.
Before you start your journey, tune in to up-to-the minute traffic reports for all motorways and major A roads across the country. It may help to visit The Highways Agency website for the latest traffic reports, maps showing how the traffic is flowing, CCTV coverage, average speeds and the displays on motorway message signs.
While you’re at it, it’ll also be worthwhile to check the weather report. It’s worth bookmarking your favourite pages to get the info quickly and easily.
If you’ve already set out on your journey, you can still access live traffic information on the move. Overhead message signs sent from regional control centres will flash up important travel info warning you of delays and advising of alternative routes. There are also automatic signs telling you how long it will take traffic to reach certain destinations.
Take a break
You’ve seen the sign, ‘TIREDNESS KILLS’. Take note and take a break at regular intervals. While you’re grabbing a coffee, you can also check the traffic conditions on the road ahead. Most motorway service stations will also have information points displaying live traffic updates.
Remember to never stop on the hard shoulder to do this or use your mobile when driving.
Stick to the main roads where you can and avoid exposed routes. The Highways Agency looks after motorways and major A roads while the local authorities look after all the other roads.
Drive with care and respect the road conditions wherever you drive, not every road can be treated and you need to take even more care driving on minor roads. It’s not just salt that helps cut through snow and ice, it’s the amount of traffic too.
Steep hills and exposed roads are also likely to present more challenging driving conditions, so avoid them if you can to make your journey easier.
Always allow extra time in severe weather and listen to warnings or advice.. Can you plan your journey to travel before the worst of the weather hits? Or wait until it has passed? Or at least allow time after the snowfall for winter crews to start clearing and treating the roads? It all helps.