Valitse sivu

In winter, snowstorms, heavy rain and slippery surfaces can cause difficult conditions and catch people by surprise. In winter conditions it is good to be aware of certain issues in order to improve traffic safety.

Thinking ahead and focusing on your movement is especially important in changeable winter conditions

Reserve enough time for your trip whether you are walking, bicycling, driving or using public transportation – and stay alert. When it is dark, it is especially important to ensure that you are visible to others. Below are some tips and things to consider when traveling by different means of transportation in winter conditions.

Think ahead when driving a car, adjust your speed and maintain a safe distance to others

  •  Adjust your speed to the prevailing conditions and don’t drive too close to others. On icy road surfaces the braking distance is much longer than in summertime.
  • Slow down near pedestrian crossings and give pedestrians and cyclists time to cross the road.
  • Be prepared for unexpected situations and reduce your speed at intersections. Take high snowbanks into consideration.
  • Use winter tires between November and March when the weather or road conditions require it.
  • Clean snow and ice off your car before you leave. Warming up your car in advance makes it easier to remove snow and scrape away ice from the car’s windows, and it also prevents the windows from fogging up.
  • Check your car’s condition regularly, including tires, lights, windshield wipers etc. Remember to get your car serviced.

Pedestrians are visible in the dark and stay upright when they choose the right kind of footwear

  • Choose your shoes according to the weather and use shoes with a good sole and grip. If necessary, you can attach anti-slip soles to your shoes or use studded shoes. Dress according to the weather.
  • Reserve enough time and focus on your walking. Anticipate slippery places.
  • Use a reflector. The best place for a flexible reflector is around your wrist or at knee-hight for a hanging reflector. A reflective vest ensures what you are visible in many directions.
  • It is good to inform those in charge of maintenance about the condition of yards and streets in order to prevent accidents.

Cyclists should choose the right equipment, cycle in a calm manner and anticipate what lies ahead

  • Use a white headlight and red rear light when it is dark out. Lights can be attached also for example to the cyclist’s helmet instead of the bike.
  • Make sure that the bike has reflectors in front, back and on the sides.
  • Reserve enough time and focus on your movement. Anticipate what lies ahead and lead your bike over icy spots if necessary.
  • A bicycle helmet can effectively protect your head in case of an accident.
  • Studded tires increase your grip when the weather is slippery, and they also increase riding comfort.
  • Service your bike regularly.

Public transportation passengers are visible and proactive at bus stops

  • Give the signal that you want to get on in good time. When it is dark you can use a reflector or the light on your phone to make the signal.
  • Signal by waving your hand until you see that the driver puts the directional on.
  • Stay at a safe distance from the bus that is coming to or leaving the bus stop because the bus can skid in slippery winter conditions.
  • Beware of icy ground at bus stops and move carefully.
  • If you have trouble moving, you can ask someone for help or ask the driver if you can use the front door when getting off.

Sources and additional information: (in Finnish) (in Finnish)

News photo: Finnish Road Safety Council Nina Mönkkönen