Winter driving is sno' joke

I ignore those long boring annual reports from bearded road safety experts earnestly instructing us to fit winter tyres and keep a spade in the boot. If you're like me, you don't have time or money to kit your car out as a dedicated winter-proof vehicle.

I suspect the only people who pay attention to these important 'winter driving tips' that appear every year at this time are retired people who spend their days eating marmite sandwiches in bungalows worrying about the next weather forecast.

Instead of fearing winter roads, we should all welcome snow. Don't people realise that driving is smoother after a blizzard because potholes fill with snow, crashing into a snowdrift is softer than hitting a wall and sliding around corners saves fuel.

But instead of celebrating the fun of snow, we have to suffer those obvious and self-righteous safety tips for winter. Use your lights, clear your windows, check your tyres they sound like my old driving instructor giving me a hard time. They make me think of this funny line on an American satirical website: Question: When driving through fog or heavy rain, what should you use? Answer: Your vehicle.

So with the permission of Creditplus I would like to present my alternative top 10 winter driving tips, created carefully and scientifically with the help of my kids.

1. Make sure you have a carrot in the car in case you see a snowman that's lost his nose.

2. At the first sign of snow press the James Bond style button on your dashboard that makes spikes protrude from your tyres.

3. If you are travelling far on Christmas Eve carry a bright reflective sign with clear lettering, to be used if you get stuck in snow overnight. It should spell out: 'Santa please stop.' This is of course so he can deliver his presents to the car.

4. Don't follow the example of John Porter of New York who thawed his house's frozen pipes by backing his car up to a window and letting the exhaust warm up the basement. Porter, his wife and three children were rushed to hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning.

5. And heeding the advice of George Gibbs of Columbus, Ohio, isn't advisable. Gibbs correctly diagnosed that his car had a frozen fuel line. He reckoned warm petrol would solve it. So he warmed up a two-gallon can on his cooker. Thankfully he is now out of hospital after recovering from the second and third degree burns he received to his head.

6. Pedestrians, don't wear white to be seen at night if snow is forecast. Dressing in an 'elf like' green is much more advisable and you might even get a seasonal job.

7. Drivers, if you spot flying reindeer, avoid trying to race them, they tend to have a flying head start.

8. Car owners: to fully enter the Christmas spirit decorate your car with tinsel, strings of flashing lights and put a fairy on the roof. A Christmas CD is also compulsory.

9. Remember to have the roof rack and trailer on the car over Christmas and Boxing day. Over indulgence in turkey, Christmas pudding and chocolate is to be expected and overflows travel arrangements maybe needed for the journey home.

10. If you are Santa Claus reading this, please note sir that your sleigh is rather, err, sixteenth century. Have you considered upgrading it this year? We know just the website that can help.

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