As the darker nights draw in and the mornings start to become frosty, Northants Police would like to remind all drivers to take an extra few minutes, each journey, to ensure their vehicles are fully road worthy before you set off.

- Never leave your vehicle running and unattended whilst it defrosts.

- Regularly check the oil level, anti-freeze, lights including hazard lights, wiper blades and battery.

- Clean your lights regularly and check the bulbs.

- Prepare an emergency breakdown kit, including a torch, bottled water, blanket, warm and waterproof clothing and a first aid kit.

- Consider leaving a selection of snacks and drinks in your boot in case you end up stuck in your car.

- Leave extra time for journeys in poor weather.

- Ensure your mobile is fully charged.

- Leave more space between you and the car in front, and drive more slowly.

- In cold or icy conditions, try to avoid braking hard.

- Consider a comprehensive breakdown policy – this could prevent you having a long wait in the cold.

- Make sure your vehicle is serviced.

- Check the tyres for tread depth and pressure.

- Make sure you’re carrying de-icer and an ice scraper. De-ice your car before you travel, ensuring all windows are fully cleared of snow, frost and condensation.

- Consider carrying a reflective triangle, high-visibility jacket, jump leads and shovel.

- Plan your journey – don’t make unnecessary trips in poor weather conditions.

- Stay alert at all times and look out for pedestrians, horses, cyclists and motorcyclists. Remember to to pass wide.

Drive to arrive and remember it’s a speed limit, not a target!

Safety first.