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Charity urges drivers to prepare for winter

Snow -bound driver
Snow -bound driver

A motoring charity is urging drivers to make sure their cars are prepared for winter, as the cold weather starts to bite around the UK.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is offering drivers advice on preparing their cars for winter, as snowfall is forecast around the UK over the next few days.

Peter Rodger, IAM chief examiner, said: "Bad weather can strike quickly, and more severely than you expect, so now is the time to give your car a health-check before winter conditions take their toll."

Mr Rodger suggests drivers make sure their windscreen wipers are in good condition and top up their windscreen washer fluid with suitable anti-freeze screenwash.

He advises people to make sure windscreen wipers are switched off when they start the ignition, as if they freeze in the "on" position, it could blow the fuse.

Tyres should be checked thoroughly, he said, adding that although the legal minimum for tyre tread in the UK was 1.6mm, for optimum safety, motorists should look for replacements if the depth is below 3mm.

The IAM also advises drivers to check all lights and pack an emergency kit in the boot, including a warm coat, a 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.

Mr Rodger added: "A recent survey has found that 10 out of 11 rural councils still have not managed to complete all the necessary road repairs after last winter's severe weather, and it is likely that budget cuts will make things worse.

"If this problem is reflected across the country, having a well-maintained car, with particular attention to the tyres, is going to be even more important."

The IAM is an independent road safety charity dedicated to raising driving standards, engaging with the road-using public and influencing road safety policy. For more information visit http://www.iam.org.uk/.


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