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Winter car advice for motorists

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Drivers are being offered advice on preparing their cars for the winter weather amid predictions for snowfall around the UK over the next few days.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has recommended some basic health-checks for the car including ensuring that tyres, lights and windscreen wipers are in good condition.

Peter Rodger, chief examiner, IAM, 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 has suggested the use of windscreen washer fluid in combination with suitable anti-freeze screenwash.

The precautions could help reduce the risk of road accidents, which affect car insurance premiums.

Drivers have been warned to keep windscreen wipers switched off when they start the ignition, as their freezing in the "on" position could increase the risk of fuse blow outs.

The motor charity said that while the legal minimum for tyre tread in the UK is 1.6mm, but for optimum safety, drivers should look for replacements if the depth is below 3mm.

The IAM also advises motorists to 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.

© Press Association 2010