Winter is coming so be prepared.

That's the warning to drivers from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

They have said while some might argue that it is too early to get into the Christmas spirit, it is certainly not too early to prepare for the wintery conditions on our roads.

Road safety is an important issue to all drivers throughout the year, but the winter months bring unique challenges to road users.

Mydrian Harries, Corporate Head of Prevention and Protection said, “Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service has attended an increase in road traffic collisions over the last few weeks, many of which have resulted in injuries and tragically, some fatalities.

"We would appeal to everyone who use the road to make sure they drive or ride according to the conditions and allow enough time for their journey.

"Darker driving conditions, wet road surfaces and poor visibility from winter weather together make a big difference to our regular journeys whether by car, lorry, motorcycle or bicycle.

"Make sure your vehicle is suitably prepared for such weather conditions and if you cycle or walk along roads be sure to be make yourself visible to other road users.

"We would also appeal to vehicle users to refrain from using their mobile devices while driving as it distracts their attention and is known to be contributory factor in road traffic accidents.”

Here are the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service's top tips for staying safe on the roads this winter.


Winter driving conditions can be very difficult. Yet with a little care and prior planning, it is possible to minimise the risk and maximise safety for you, your passengers and other road users.

You can keep yourself and others safe, by:

• Slowing down

• Keeping a greater distance between yourself and the vehicle in front, (increase the 2 second rule to 4 seconds or even more)

• Setting aside extra time to complete your journey

• On colder days, be particularly careful on tree lined roads - the trees prevent the sun’s warmth from reaching the road, which may still be icy when all around has thawed.

Driving tips

Follow these tips for safe winter driving:

• Keep your mobile fully charged.

• Pack a snow/ice scraper, de-icer, snow shovel, hat, gloves, boots, a torch, bottle of water and a first aid kit. For longer journeys, you should take blankets, a snack and a flask of warm drink.

• Wash the car frequently to get rid of the salt and dirt that builds up over the winter.

• Always keep a full tank of fuel - you never know when you might get delayed.

• Don’t use water to defrost the windows.

During extremely bad weather conditions:

• Check the local and national weather forecasts.

• Listen to local and national radio for travel information.

• Tell someone at your destination what time you expect to arrive.

• Make sure you are equipped with warm clothes, food, boots and a torch - in snowy conditions, take a spade.

• Clear your windows and mirrors before you set out and carry a screen scraper and de-icer.


The AA recommends:

• At least 3mm of tread for the winter.

• Don't let air out of your tyres to get more grip – it doesn't work, and it’s unsafe.

• Only use snow chains if there’s enough snow to prevent damage to the road.

• Think about getting winter tyres or all-season tyres – these are made from a special rubber that gives better grip in cold, wet conditions.


Check the following yourself or take your car to your mechanic and ask them to check the following:

• Battery

• Wipers

• Engine antifreeze levels

• Windshield washer anti freeze fluid

• Heating system

• Brakes

• Tyres

• Windshield defroster