Tips given on harsh-weather driving

One of Britain's leading organisations in driver risk management, IAM Drive & Survive, has unveiled a series of tips on how to handle your car in the harsh winter.

According to the head of training, Simon Elstow, it is very important to fully prepare your car before taking it out in the chilly weather.

He said: "If the weather is really bad, think about whether you really need to make the journey before travelling. If so, ensure you take out the time to prepare your car for your trip."

He has advised drivers that they do not have to warm up the vehicle's engine before setting off as most modern car engines are good to go as soon as they are started.

But he also added that there is no harm in putting the heater or demister on if required prior to the journey.

He further said it is essential to clean car windows regularly as a dirty screen is likely to mist up easily, while it is equally important to clear snow off all parts of the car before setting off.

The car expert has also warned motorists to switch off all electrical components of the vehicle before starting the ignition. On the other hand, the heater and engine should be switched on when it is time to begin the journey to prevent the windows from steaming up.

Along with the above tips, drivers might want to consider buying a comprehensivebreakdown cover to ensure they are not left stranded in an untoward situation.

Elstow said: "Spending time to prepare your car for the weather conditions is important so that it copes well throughout your journey. Now is the time to check the battery and that your screen wash is the antifreeze version."

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