A SNOW driving expert have issued five tips to help keep you safe at the wheel as temperatures plunge.
The recommendations come after freezing weather prompted the Met Office to put out safety warnings.
Sonia Hobbs, group marketing director at motor retailer Harwoods Group, outlined ways people can better put themselves on alert.
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She said: “Not all of us have been taught how to drive in the snow, so when winter comes around many of us aren’t prepared for a sudden bout of bad weather.
“The best thing you can do when the weather starts to become colder is to be as prepared as possible – this means planning for the bad weather before it comes around.”
She advised booking your car in for a winter health check “to make sure your vehicle is as safe to drive as possible”.
And she also advised on stocking up the motor with essentials, checking the battery and heating systems yourself – while also taking care to “drive carefully to avoid any accidents”.
Her five tips begin with checking your car before setting off on any journey, saying: “One of the worst things that can happen to you in bad weather is if you become stranded miles away from home due to a car fault.”
This should involve monitoring your car’s tyre pressure since these can often deflate more quickly in colder temperatures – while also making sure your car battery could cope with the extra stress chillier conditions can bring.
Her second recommendation is to invest in socks, though she added: “No, these aren’t for your feet – they’re for your tyres.
“Snow socks are a great, much-easier-to-install alternative to clunky chains and winter tyres – they provide traction on snow and ice, making driving in the snow safer and easier.”
The fabric of the snow socks wrapping around a tyre can help provide extra grip.
Tip three is to buy fresh windscreen wipers, to ensure the clearest view of the roads at all times – while also checking heating and cooling systems to help remove any snow, frost or ice.
Aside from technology, she also advised on giving yourself enough time between destinations – since many accidents are caused by people rushing, even before the added dangers of snow and ice.
She said: “At the beginning of your day, make sure your car has enough time to warm up and always make sure to give yourself enough time between destinations.
“If this means adding an extra 15 minutes to your commute, it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
And the essentials she recommends for stocking up are in case of emergency, to keep yourself safe if stranded or in an accident.
These include high-visibility items such as reflectors, extra-warm clothing, an ice scraper and tools to help jumpstart a dead battery.
Meanwhile, another motors expert has revealed the vital warning signs showing your car needs winter tyres.