28/12/2016 07:08 GMT | Updated 24/12/2017 05:12 GMT

Top Tips To Help You Stay Safe On The Road This Winter

With Christmas just around the corner, the dark nights are closing in and the weather is often at its most extreme.

At Hertz, we know the challenges the winter period presents and how to prepare before a trip. Drivers in particular can be greatly impacted at this time of year, as conditions tend to be slippery and visibility poor, regularly affected by rain, fog or just the darkness itself.

On a regular commute, conditions can prove challenging, but as we approach the holidays thousands more of us will take to the roads to visit family and friends, and it can be highly stressful and potentially hazardous if you're not properly prepared.

That's why whether it's going to be a long trip or a short one, it is important to consider the tools and planning you need to help ensure a safe and relaxing journey.

Let's start with the basics. Bringing a SatNav along can be one easy way to help you avoid the holiday gridlock and more importantly, help you keep the peace among your passengers. Especially as almost half of in-car arguments - as a survey Hertz UK carried out in 2014 revealed - are caused by navigation issues and getting lost.

When it comes to maintenance, having your car serviced or checked is essential, especially ahead of any long journeys. It may sound obvious, but making sure the oil, tyres and antifreeze are at the correct levels is vital before hitting the road as you could be left stranded otherwise.

There are also basic checks you should complete before you set off each time. For example, if temperatures are cold, always double check your windscreen wipers aren't frozen and that there's plenty of washer fluid. It's critical at this time of year as with so much salt on the road your windscreen can become completely opaque in just a few minutes. Also check to make sure that your headlights are clear of snow or salt.

Then when it comes to communication, while most of our phones now provide us with a constant connection to maps, emergency services and a host of other information, they definitely can't help us if they've run out of battery. Carrying an in-car charger or extra battery pack can easily help solve this issue, and it could be a lifesaver in more ways than one.

It might be more for your sanity than safety, but there is nothing worse than uncharged gadgets on a long journey. They can be an easy way to entertain the children in the car, so always ensure you have enough power to keep them running!

Lastly, in addition to in-car entertainment, snacks and something to drink are always good to have, particularly a bottle of water just in case. You never know when it might come in handy, whether it's you or the car that needs it!

Together, these tips should help you be better prepared for the road this winter and I hope it makes your journeys a little bit more enjoyable as well. It's no secret that it can be a stressful time to travel, but you can certainly be well equipped to improve your chances of having a great holiday road trip.

Whatever your plans, safe travels!

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