It’s a good idea to pack a bag of supplies to keep in the car when the snow starts to fall. These should include food and water, warm clothing or a blanket, a torch, a first aid kit, a fully charged mobile phone, jump leads, a shovel, an ice scraper or deicing fluid, and some grit, sand or cat litter. Plan your route, so that you don’t get lost, and make sure you stick to major roads for as much of it as possible. These are the roads that are likely to have been cleared or gritted, so you stand the best chance of getting to your destination.

Make sure your car has a full tank of fuel, so that if you get stuck, you can run the engine to keep warm (though if this happens, you must get out of the car periodically to clear snow from the exhaust pipe; if it gets blocked by falling snow, carbon monoxide can build up within the car with potentially fatal consequences). Check your tire tread depths, and make sure you have enough in order to cope with the slippery conditions.

Make sure you undertake a longer drive in your car now and again, to give the battery time to charge up. Shorter journeys deplete the battery, and in cold conditions, a low battery might not be able to start the car. Learn how your car’s heater works, and make sure you can use it not just to keep you warm, but also to effectively clear the mist from the inside of the car’s windows. Read your car’s manual if you need to, and learn how to point warm air at the windows to retain visibility.

If your car has snow on top of it, it’s imperative that you clear this from it before you drive away. When you drive off, the snow can fall off in one big clump, which can badly impair visibility for the driver behind you. It is also important that clear off the windshield and other windows aas well before you drive.

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