With colder days ahead, Pembrokeshire County Council has issued the following tips to help drivers prepare their vehicles for winter driving and remain safe.

Remember to prepare your vehicle for winter driving before you set off:

• Check anti-freeze levels

• Top up your screen wash ensuring it is a higher concentrate or it will freeze

• Check tyre pressures

• Keep your lights and windows clean

Winter car essentials: keep an emergency kit in your vehicle including:

• Ice scraper and de-icer

• Mobile Phone

• In car charger or power pack

• Sat-Nav, printed map of an unfamiliar route or road atlas

• Torch and spare batteries

• Blanket, First Aid Kit and warning triangle

• Jump leads

• Snow shovel

• Water and snacks

“Now is a good time for motorists to prepare for winter driving,” said Cllr Phil Baker, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure.

“To keep you, your passengers and other road users safe always take extra care when driving in rain, snow or icy conditions. Our tips will help drivers cope better with the various seasonal weather hazards ahead.

“Always clear your windows and mirrors completely of snow and ice before you set off and set off early as you never know what hazards lay ahead on the road.”

“Remember – as drivers you need to adapt your driving to the different conditions.”

Top winter driving tips:

1. Drive defensively; anticipate the road ahead through observing near, middle and far distance.

2. Keep well within the speed limits; drive to the conditions not the speed limit.

3. Avoid excessive steering and cornering at speed, steer smoothly into bends and corners.

4. Avoid excessive braking, brake gently and use low gears to engine brake.

5. Beware of black ice. Black ice is more prevalent early morning and late at night when temperatures are at their lowest. If the vehicle starts to skid, gently lift off the accelerator and steer in the direction of the skid

6. Avoid overtaking gritting vehicles and snow ploughs, the driver has limited visibility and the road in front of them will be worse than the road behind them.

7. Increase the gap between you and the vehicle in front, stopping distances can increase 10 times that of normal stopping distances.

8. Use second gear when moving off in snow.

9. Select the most suitable gear early when driving up hill, avoids changing gear on the hill and losing momentum.

10. Reduce speed before going downhill, select a low gear and avoid using the brakes.

11. Allow an extra 10 minutes to prepare the car before setting off.

12. Clear snow off of the vehicle before driving off, frozen blocks of snow falling from your vehicle are a hazard to other road users and can slide forward obscuring your visibility.

13. Do not drive off until your windows have fully de-misted and all ice removed.

• For further essential winter driving tips visit the RoSPA website at www.rospa.com