Winter driving: our top tips show you how

Winter driving

Not all of us can get behind the wheel of a Toyota Land Cruiser when winter brings freezing conditions to our roads. Snow, ice and other challenging conditions can increase dangers, so to help you stay safe we’ve compiled a list of winter driving tips.

Winter driving

Winter driving tips for snowy and icy roads

  • If your car has a control setting for snow or ice, use it. This will reduce torque to the driven wheels and therefore reduce the chance of wheel spin.
  • Be gentle with the clutch. Power will be delivered to the driving wheels more smoothly, reducing the chance of skidding.
  • Be gentle with the throttle. In a front-wheel drive car, too much throttle on a slippery surface will make it understeer, resulting in the car not turning as much as it would with a normal amount of grip. In a rear-wheel drive car, however, too much throttle will make it oversteer, which is where the rear of the car exaggerates the steering input and slides out.
  • Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) are designed to help you brake and steer around obstacles at the same time. But in order to work effectively the system needs to sense grip on the road surface. So in icy or low-grip conditions you should reduce speed and brake gently, keeping your eyes focused on the point you want to reach.
  • If you have a crash mitigating system, such as Toyota Safety Sense, try to keep snow and ice off your car’s radar sensors. Blockages in their ‘vision’ will stop them working correctly.
  • During a cold snap, your Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) could show up a warning. Be sure to double-check that your tyres properly inflated with our tyre pressure and size guide.
  • Consider fitting cold weather tyres, which dramatically improve grip and stability when ambient temperatures are less than seven degrees Celsius. Please note, however, that the principles listed above remain the same whether winter tyres are fitted or not.

Driving in rain and on flooded roads

  • Rain reduces your visibility and increases stopping distances, especially during the winter months, so it is advisable to double the distance between you and the car in front.
  • Use your headlights when visibility is reduced, in accordance with the Highway Code.
  • Regularly check the functioning of your lights and the condition of your windscreen wipers. Replace any defective bulbs and blades as necessary.
  • Should the steering begin to feel light or unresponsive due to rain or standing water, ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually.
  • If the roads are flooded, avoid areas of deep water, which is usually by the kerbs. If you do decide to cross through water, drive slowly but keep your engine revs high to avoid stalling. Be aware that bow waves from approaching vehicles can submerge your car to a much deeper level.
  • Do not attempt to cross deep water – a car can float in as little as two feet of standing water.

Driving in fog

  • Fog is one of the most dangerous weather conditions during winter, as an accident involving one car can quickly escalate to involve others if they are driving too close. Leave a distance of at least three seconds between you and the car in front.
  • Use your headlights and fog lights to increase your visibility to others.
  • At junctions, wind down your window and listen for traffic.
Winter Driving

Winter driving: strong winds

  • During winter you can expect sudden gusts at any time but particularly on open stretches of road, through gaps in roadside hedges, or when passing across bridges.
  • Hold on tightly to the steering wheel and be prepared to correct your course to stay in lane, or to avoid other vehicles and debris blown into your path.
Winter Driving

Winter driving: when the sun is low

  • If the sun is not too low, use your visor to create some shade for your eyes.
  • Reduce your speed to increase the safety margin between you and the car in front.
  • Keep the inside and outside of your windscreen clean to reduce the effect of glare.

Winter driving tips: condensation

Vision clouded by condensation on the windows can be an issue during colder months. Click here to read our separate guide to reducing this issue.

Toyota Accident Care

Should you have an accident, our Accident Care team are on hand to help arrange repairs and liaise with your insurance. Our Accredited Technicians use Toyota Genuine Parts & Paints to help get your Toyota back on the road.


  1. Hello Martin,
    Thank you for your post. This may help when pulling away when stuck in snow and will of course depend on the conditions at the time and the type of vehicle you are in (e.g. front, rear, or all wheel drive). However we would always recommend leaving the traction control on at all other times. Hope this helps clarify and if you have any other questions please let us know.

  2. Pity Toyota TSS is so unreliable in cold weather, in low sun, and in rain. When is a technical solution tp condensation within the TSS module etc, going to be rolled out?

    1. Hi John,

      Thank you for your feedback on this, we will pass it onto our technical team for you. We currently have no information on this but will let our owners know as soon as we do.



  3. Nothing to do with the above post but! With Toyota now producing both an Hydrogen ICE and fuel cell vehicles, don’t forget the classic car market. It is a large potential market for either system if able to be retrofitted and from schematics, it would seem that the fuel cell in particular could be.

  4. Do Toyota UK support imported FJ Cruisers from Japan
    Particularly want to know about analysing electrical / electronic problems
    Can I buy a warranty cover on a 5 year old FJ which has had a RAC survey I would prefer a Toyota one

    1. Hi Peter,
      Thanks for your comment.
      We would recommend contacting your nearest Toyota Centre for further advice on this.
      However, we would be happy to send you a Land Cruiser sticker to go with your vehicle if you go ahead with the import.

  5. Thanks for the helpful tips Toyota, gives me some useful learnings.
    Snow or rain are both challenging for me.
    Roll on the summer 🙂

  6. Not related to this article, but I have a MK4 Yaris hybrid bought in July 2022.
    I have a problem with RSA, which the dealer appears unable to assist with.
    I am in the UK and the car picks up a speed limit sign but sometimes it decides it is in KMH not MPH, so if I exceed 19mph I get a warning in a 30mph limit… Same applies in different zones.
    I have the latest suggested firmware update.
    I can put up with the car reading signs from side streets or from lorries, but the refusal of anyone to accept this software bug is very frustrating.
    I have pictures of the dash showing me doing 25mph and the 30 limit being “exceeded”.
    I am happy to run diagnostics if you will tell me how.
    It may seem a minor problem in the scheme of things, and I can “manage” it…. But the complete refusal to accept that there is a bug gives me no faith in Toyota and makes it very unlikely that I will purchase another unless there is some action. Can you please help?
    More than willing to provide more information if required.

  7. Read the whole article and find it really helpful. can you please gave me more tips on how to maintain our cars in budget

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