see, amid the winter snow: getting your car ready

  • plan your route according to the driving conditions
  • make sure your wipers are in good nick
  • clean your windows inside and out
  • top up the washer fluid with winter strength screen wash which has a freeze-resistant additive
  • check last year's scraper and de-icer are up to the job
  • check your tyres, especially the tread depth. For optimum safety opt for at least 3mm instead of the legal minimum of 1.6mm
  • check all lights
  • pack an emergency kit - high-viz jacket, food and water, boots, de-icer, scraper, torch, shovel and charged mobile phone with your breakdown emergency number
  • if you are on regular medication, take enough with you in case you get delayed
  • use the 'ice' setting if your car has one
  • make sure your wipers are in the off position when you stop - they can freeze to the window
  • slow down and accelerate smoothly and gradually
  • drive in the highest gear possible, starting off in second
  • make sure you can stop within the distance you can see to be clear
  • increase your following distance by ten times even if you have ABS
  • light steering and reduced  road noise could mean you are driving on ice
  • frost, ice and snow remain for longer under trees, on bridges, and in areas exposed to wind

Shorter daylight hours and bad weather can make driving in winter dangerous. A little preparation will help you get the most out of your car, but ask yourself, do you really need to make the journey?