If you’re planning a road trip this winter, then it’s worth thinking about the challenges posed by the season.  Cold weather makes collisions more likely – and it can inflict damage on your vehicle while it’s sitting on the drive.

Let’s look at a few ways in which we might prepare a vehicle for a long trip at this time of year.


In the UK, insurance is a legal requirement if you’re going to drive on public roads.  If you’re on a road trip, however, you might want to share the driving duties among several people.  Temp car insurance allows people to drive cars they don’t own without breaking the law.  This will ensure that the driving burden doesn’t fall on just one person and will allow everyone to enjoy the trip that little bit more.

If you’re going to be putting in hundreds of miles over just a few days, then you should consider the effect that this might have on the fatigue level of the person driving.  Given how naturally hazardous the road is at this time of year, fatigue can be a big problem.  Regular breaks can also help.

Safe Distance

At this time of year, your stopping distance will be a little longer, thanks to snow, ice and standing water on the road surface.  Tailgating is therefore a particular problem.  If you can’t stop when the car in front does, then you’re too close.  Leave a generous gap, especially if you’re driving uphill.

Low Gears

When you’re driving in snowy conditions, you can avoid slides by avoiding the use of the brakes.  If you’re moving downhill, then you might instinctively control your speed by applying the brakes.  But perhaps a better option is to downshift and use the engine to decelerate gradually.

Check Your Tyres

The tyres on your car are designed to be replaced periodically.  The difference this makes might be especially noteworthy during winter, when your grip will naturally be impacted by the slippery road surface.  Make sure that you’re well above the legal minimum for tread depth, which is 1.6mm.  Ideally, you might aim to keep the tread above 3mm.

If you’re visiting a place where it’s likely to snow, then you might shop for winter tyres.  These come with more generous tread, and they tend to be made from materials that will remain pliant at lower temperatures.

Emergency Kit

Getting stranded at the roadside in the middle of winter can be not just stressful – in some cases, it can be outright dangerous.  Make sure that you’re prepared for the possibility by packing everything you need in the case of an emergency.  This should include a warning triangle, a jack, a first-aid kit, a blanket or two, and supplies of emergency rations.