Safety: Prepare you car for winter challenges now

Road safety charity the IAM is offering weekly motoring tips from Britain’s top advanced driver, Peter Rodger.

This week, as forecasters predict a hard winter, he is advising motorists on preparing their cars for the cold season.

IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger said: “Now is the time to give your car a health-check before winter conditions take their toll. Bad weather can strike quickly, and more severely than you expect, so it’s really important to be ready.”

Peter suggests some easy tips to prepare your car for winter:

l In a UK winter you are more likely to encounter wind and rain, so make sure your windscreen wipers are in good condition and that you clean the inside of the windscreen regularly

l Do a proper check of your vehicle - particularly the tyres - top up your washer fluid and make sure last year’s ice scraper and de-icer are up to the job

l The legal minimum for tyre tread in the UK is 1.6mm, but for optimum safety start looking for replacements if the depth is below 3mm

l Check all your lights

l Pack an emergency kit, including a warm coat, high visibility jacket, some food and water, a good pair of boots, de-icer and scraper, a torch, a spade and a mobile phone with a well-charged battery. Remember to store your emergency breakdown number.

l Peter said: “Many roads are still pot-holed after last winter so having a well-maintained car, and paying particular attention to your tyres, is going to be extremely important.”

To help drivers stay safe this winter, the IAM has launched a new website,, with traffic updates, weather forecasts and tips on how to drive safely in winter.

Tips cover rain, snow, ice, fog and wind – everything you can expect in a typically unpredictable British winter. Check it out before you travel.