The days are getting shorter and temperatures are dropping. In other words, winter is well and truly on its way. Driving during harsh weather conditions can be tricky, so it’s important that you’re ready for whatever the elements throw at you.

To help you get around safely over coming months, you can take a look at the winter driving advice offered by the Highways Agency.  It’s also worth checking the weather forecast before you set off on journeys. If conditions look particularly bad, it may be a good idea to stay off the roads.

Then there’s your car to think about. The following top tips should help you ensure your vehicle is fit for winter driving.

Image Credit: Wilson Hul

Image Credit: Wilson Hul

1) Book a service

Winter can take its toll on vehicles and put them at extra risk of breaking down. This is why it’s important to book a professional service before the cold really sets in. Discovering and fixing any faults now is much better than experiencing mechanical problems on the roads. Luckily, it’s now easy to book services with firms like the Pentagon Group.

Knowing that your car’s in good working order can provide you with added peace of mind when you get behind the wheel.

2) Test your lights

You’re likely to do much more driving in the dark during the winter, and visibility can also be affected by snowfall and fog. It’s therefore prudent to test all of your vehicle’s lights, including fog lights, and to replace any broken bulbs.

3) Consider windshield visibility

On a related point, it’s vital that you can see properly out of your windshield. After all, low visibility is a major cause of road accidents during the colder months. As well as snow and ice, the grit that’s used on road surfaces can play havoc with windshields. If your wiper blades have seen better days, now’s the time to replace them. Also, make sure you fill your washer reservoirs with fluid.

Your car’s defroster and heater should be in good working order too, otherwise you’ll struggle to get a good view of the roads.

4) Take a look at your tyres

You may not have to change your tyres to snow versions, but it is important that they are inflated to the correct level. Also, make sure they have a sufficient level of tread. This will help to ensure maximum traction, which is key in icy and wet conditions.

5) Pack a survival kit

It may seem over the top, but a survival kit can be a real help if you experience an accident or breakdown while out and about in cold weather. Bear in mind that you may be stuck for many hours. If this happens, you’ll need to be able to keep warm and safe. Ideally, your pack should include warm clothes, a torch, some food and water, a first aid kit and an ice scraper.

By following these simple tips, you can boost your chances of staying safe on the roads this winter.