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Make sure your motorís safe for winter
As the winter weather approaches, Aberdeen City Council is urging all motorists to take a few simple steps to ensure that their vehicles are as safe as possible to take out on the roads.
Maintenance is the key factor make sure your vehicle is well maintained and serviced. Ensure the brakes, tyres, lights, batteries, windscreens and wipers are in good condition, check that the engine coolant levels are topped up and contain the recommended levels of anti-freeze.
Keep a supply of de-icer in the vehicle and ensure the windscreen and mirrors are properly defrosted and cleared before setting off. If it's been snowing, make sure you clear the snow off the roof and bonnet of your vehicle so that it can't slip down or blow up onto the windscreen while you are travelling. Make sure you've got a cloth handy to clear windows and mirrors if they begin to steam up.
Bear in mind that visibility is considerably reduced when driving in fog, heavy rain, snow, and hail, so increase your distance from the vehicle in front and use dipped-beam headlights at these times. Sidelights are ineffective in most conditions and should not be relied on.
Wet, frosty or icy roads greatly increase stopping distances, so make sure you reduce your speed in plenty of time when approaching junctions or queues of traffic.
If you are not confident driving during bad weather conditions, stay at home or use public transport instead. If you do choose to drive, make sure that you take: warm clothing; a flask containing a hot drink; some food; a blanket; a charged mobile phone and a shovel in case you get stuck. You may also want to consider keeping small pieces of carpet in the car which you can put under the tyres to help get traction should you become stuck, or carry a tub of salt supermarkets and hardware stores are now selling tubs of specially treated salts for this purpose.
Make sure you've got plenty of petrol and heck the forecast before you set out on your journey and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.
Aberdeen City Council gives advice on its website about expected weather conditions and the areas gritters are operating in at www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/gritting
Local and national TV and radio stations and text services provide a useful source of information for motorists and travellers during inclement weather conditions. For general information on main and trunk roads visit the Traffic Scotland website at www.trafficscotland.org
The Scottish Government has created a website to help people prepare for the winter weather. Ready Scotland (www.ReadyScotland.org) contains practical advice and the simple steps people can take to protect themselves, their families, their communities and their businesses from the worst effects of all kinds of bad weather.