By Ed Towner ...
Prepare your car for a Frozen Planet as winter approaches
By Ed Towner
As veteran broadcaster David Attenborough highlights the extremities of harsh Arctic weather on BBC nature series Frozen Planet, British drivers need to prepare for the dangers that freezing temperatures and long nights present.
Checking your car to ensure it is safe to drive is essential, but also road users need to think whether they need to use the road at all, says Age UK Enterprises, the commercial arm of the charity Age UK.
Whether its rain, snow, black ice or fog, drivers need to be prepared and allow extra time for their journey, urges the organisation. Before setting off there are various checks they should conduct.
Checking tyre pressure and tread is important -although the legal standard is 1.6mm, better tread will result in improved grip. This will be helpful in icy, snowy or wet conditions.
Cleaning your lights can ensure they are as visible as possible and never pour boiling hot water on the windscreen - the immediate change in temperature can cause the glass to crack.
That said, it is much more useful to have a scraper and de-icer in your car at all times, you may as well throw in some thick coats and blankets just in case you do get stuck on the roadside.
Don't forget to check your car's oil, antifreeze and water levels, ensuring they are topped up.
Gordon Morris, managing director of Age UK Enterprises, is keen to stress the danger of winter driving: "With nights getting longer and forecasts for a bitter winter, it is vital that motorists ensure that they can rely on their vehicles before venturing out on the roads, and think carefully about whether their journey is entirely necessary.
"Planning ahead and taking the time to give your car a winter service will help you to stay safe. It is also essential that you have appropriate insurance and breakdown cover in place should you encounter any motoring mishaps."