The clocks went back last weekend, and although that meant an extra hour in bed for most of us, it also means that the nights are now drawing in a lot earlier.
Plus, with the temperatures swiftly dropping, it's that time of year to make sure that you and your vehicle are prepared for winter driving.
Do you really need to drive?
Firstly, if you are planning a long journey, or your route is taking you through country lanes or potentially hazardous terrain and the weather looks like it could be a problem, ask yourself, 'do I really need to make this trip?' If the answer is yes, ensure you know where you're going and let someone know when you leave, how long you think the drive will take, and when you arrive at your destination.
Is your vehicle in good condition?
Check the tread and air pressure in your tyres, and make sure you have plenty of oil, washer fluid and anti-freeze. Do you regularly service your car? It may sound like an unnecessary expense but you may regret not paying a little when you're in the cab of a tow-truck and about to have to pay a lot more...
If you are having to drive in adverse conditions, don't head off when you're tired and distracted or you're just asking for trouble. Have a good night's sleep, a decent breakfast and plan regular breaks during the journey.
Make sure you have the essentials
The last thing you want is to find yourself broken down – whether day or night – and be without warm clothing, a charged mobile phone and the number for your chosen breakdown assistance company.
However, there are more items that would be of great help in case you do end up stranded for a few hours, or as we've seen in some rare cases, overnight:
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