HERE are some things you can do today to prepare for driving in bad weather this winter.

  • Clean your lights
  • Check your tyre tread - the AA recommends 3mm for winter driving and no less than 2mm.
  • Clean your windscreen, inside and out, for better visibility

Make sure you have with you:

  • a sack or rug to improve tread if you do get stuck
  • Warm clothes, blankets, emergency rations and water in case you find yourself in a long jam.
  • A shovel to help clear snow from tyres

Stopping distances are 10 times longer in ice and snow, so make sure you leave more space and drive more gently.

Here are the AA's driving tips:

  •  Wear comfortable, dry shoes for driving. Cumbersome boots will slip on the pedals.
  • Pull away in second gear, easing your foot off the clutch gently to avoid wheel-spin.
  • Uphill - avoid having to stop part way up by waiting until it is clear of other cars or by leaving plenty of room to the car in front. Keep a constant speed, choosing the most suitable gear well in advance to avoid having to change down on the hill.​
  • ​​Downhill - reduce your speed before the hill, use a low gear and try to avoid using the brakes. Leave as much room as possible between you and the car in front.​
  • ​​If you have to use brakes then apply them gently. Release the brakes and de-clutch if the car skids.
  • ​​Automatic transmission - under normal driving conditions (motorways, etc) it's best to select 'Drive' and let the gearbox do the work throughout the full gear range. In slippery, snowy conditions it's best to select '2', which limits the gear changes and also makes you less reliant on the brakes. Some autos have a 'Winter' mode which locks out first gear to reduce the risk of wheel spin. Check the handbook.
  • If you get stuck, straighten the steering and clear the snow from the wheels. Put a sack or old rug in front of the driving wheels to give the tyres some grip. Once on the move again, try not to stop until you reach firmer ground.