Beating the Big Freeze on Britain’s Roads  

Driving in severe winter weather poses many challenges. The ice and snow can cause normally reliable roads to turn into hazardous terrain. And if conditions worsen still, there’s always the danger of cars getting stuck in snowy conditions and drivers being forced to spend the night on the roadside.

With ice and snow making driving conditions on some of the highest risk roads even worse, we’ve launched an interactive map to identify some of the persistently higher risk roads where the most accidents have occurred over the last year*:

*Data from to the latest EuroRAP report from the Road Safety Foundation
Map of the UKs most dangerous roads

Top tips 

To help you prepare for winter driving, here’s our top tips for a safer journey over the wintery months…

Prepare for the journey

Make sure you pack the essentials in case your journey takes a turn for the worse. As well as making sure you’ve packed de-icing equipment and a hazard warning triangle, it may also be worth packing things like food and drink, extra warm clothes, shoes and blankets, a phone charger pack, a working torch and a first aid kit.

Keep up to date on the changing weather conditions

Make sure you switch on the local radio to keep up-to-date with the weather on your journey. It might look fine as you’re setting off, but the last thing you’ll want is to get stuck mid-journey when it takes a turn for the worse. Prepare a different route in advance so a Plan B should your route be disrupted by weather conditions.

Adapt to the conditions

Most of us have very little experience of driving in extremely cold conditions, so take some time to consider how it affects your driving. If you find yourself driving in snow or on icy or snow-covered roads, reduce your speed to limit the risk of skidding. Remember, speed limits are the maximum in ideal conditions, not icy ones.  

Our latest poll found that the majority of drivers are failing to adapt their driving techniques in winter road conditions. Over nine million admit to not reducing their average speed on icy roads, while one in five are failing to increase the distance between themselves and the vehicle in front – two big faux pas when driving in severe winter conditions!

Make sure you get a full picture of the road ahead

Right now, many motorists are risking driving without full vision, with one in four admitting they don’t completely clear ice or snow from their windscreens, while seven in ten will not clear the car roof of snow, which can affect the car’s steering and braking speed. Factoring in just a few extra minutes before a journey to completely clear your windscreen of ice and snow before setting off can help you deal with treacherous wintry conditions.

Check your breakdown cover

In the face of adverse weather conditions, it’s worth reviewing your car insurance policy to make sure you know and understand your level of protection you’re covered for. Check that you also have adequate breakdown cover, providing peace of mind you won’t end up stranded in the cold.

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