EXTRA TIME: Give yourself plenty of extra time if you do have to drive in wintery conditions. You will need to defrost your vehicle and clear off any excess snow. The roads are also going to be in bad contition, so you will have to drive slowly in a low gear.
TYRES: Check your tyres. Tyre thread debth is essential to road safety. Make sure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure and that your tyre thread depth is sufficient. Replace them if the tread depth falls below 3mm. Don't forget to check your spare tyre!
VISABILITY: Make sure all your windows and mirrors are clear before you set out. De-icer and a scraper are your best friends in cold weather. Use warm water (not hot as it can crack your windshield) to aid defrosting. Check your wiper blades. These need to be replaced every 6 months-1 year. Top up your screenwash-this will help to prevent the water from freezing.
LIGHTS: Make sure all your lights are in good working order. Visability can be greatly diminished in snowy conditions and it is essential that you can be seen on the roads by other drivers. Remember to clear the snow from your lights as well as your windows and mirrors.
LOW GEARS: Manoeuvre gently, slow down and leave extra distance between you and the vehicle in front. Too much steering is bad and avoid harsh braking and acceleration. Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Select a low gear when travelling downhill especially if through bends.When you slow down, use your brakes so that the brake lights warn drivers behind you.
BLACK ICE: Learn and watch out for the signs of black ice.If the road looks polished or glossy it could be black ice.This is one of winter's worst hazards: It is nearly transparent and can be difficult to spot. Often it just looks like a harmless puddle, especially in sheltered or shaded areas on the roads, under trees and adjacent to high walls. Drive slowly and use additional caution if you think you have spotted it.
KEEP AN EMERGENCY KIT IN THE BOOT!!
You just never know when you might be in need of some of these items. During extream weather events it makes sense to pack your car for all eventualities. It is recommended you have these items to hand, you never know when you might just need them:
STAY AT HOME: DON'T MAKE UNNECESSARY JOURNEYS!
Listen to the weather reports. If you are told to stay of the roads then do so. This leaves the emergency services free to deal with real emergencies.