Mark founded MoneyMaxim in 2008, with the aim of delivering an impartial and independent service. Mark is a regular money saving expert in the press and writes regular news and articles for the MoneyMaxim news pages sharing his views on banking, personal insurance and the utilities (gas, electricity, mobile and home phones, broadband and pay TV) market with customers.
Whether you are driving in the UK, Europe or North America this winter it's wise to think ahead when you are taking a trip to keep yourself safe and sound.
With many parts of the UK currently being hit by severe flooding and with many now starting to think about heading for the ski slopes - where understandably snow can be an issue, its well worthwhile to take a few minutes out to consider your plans this winter, as well as thinking through hazards that you might face over the coming months.
Always adhere to road closure signs and other similar notices - its always amazing how many people thing the police only put these out for other people.
Refresh your driving skills for the winter - watch the video below for handy hints from Which regarding driving on snow and ice. Better still book yourself on a driving skills course on a skid pan - great fun as well as educational.
Add extra time onto your journey - use Google to plan your journey and they will tell you how long the journey is currently taking. Remember if a weather front or storm is approaching that journey time is only going to increase.
Add a little preparation time - 10 extra minutes to defrost your car windscreen properly and warm up the engine. Setting off when you are already under time pressures is not a good idea.
Keep a few essential supplies in your car over the winter, from cereal bars and chocolate to keep your energy levels high if you do get stuck, a shovel, a rug, warm clothes and drinks, especially water. If you suffer a breakdown, or get stuck this can really make the difference.
Keep a car charger and mobile phone lead in your car - they can be bought for a couple of pounds, but save the worry of a dead phone as the weather closes in and traffic slows to a crawl.
Check your antifreeze levels, both in the radiator and in the windscreen washer bottle. Spending a couple of pounds on a bottle can be a very worthwhile investment.
Stick to major routes wherever possible - its not a guarantee that you won't get stuck if the weather turns, but its where the authorities will through their resources first.
Drive with safety in mind - slow and steady gets you there a lot faster than ending up in a roadside ditch.
If someone behind you wants to drive faster than you do - let them past - they are not going to cause you damage when ahead of you but are far more likely to if they are driving in your boot!
Follow the above and you will certainly have a more stress free journey, and potentially keep you and your travelling companions safer too.