The winter season is almost upon us and the cars are already starting to look a little misty in the mornings.
But what happens when the ice and snow arrive? Frozen cars, misty breath and slippery pavements are on the horizon.
Sometimes in a desperate bid to not be late, motorists are often frantically stood on their drive, trying to defrost their vehicle.
But while you're in a mad rush trying to clear the ice and the mist, you could in fact be breaking the law and here's how.
Take a look at these top tips on how to defrost your vehicle safely - and legally - as recommended by Chronicle Live.
1. Turn on the engine
It sounds obvious, but before you do anything get your engine on.
The most effective way of de-icing your car is to flick on the air conditioning and let it circulate in the car.
2. Do not leave the car unattended
Owners who leave their engines running while they run inside to grab something they’ve forgotten are a car thief’s dream - and are also breaking the law.
Drivers have to be ‘in control’ of their vehicle at all times. A motorist has been fined £30 for defrosting his car outside his home because he left it unattended with the engine running.
Police warn it is an offence to leave a car unattended with the engine running on the public highway.
If you need to go back into the house you should turn off the engine, lock the car and head in. Car insurers rarely pay out if the keys are left in the car.
3. Get rid of any snow
Use a brush to wipe off all the snow from the car, making sure the front grille is clear.
4. Start de-icing the outside
Make sure you keep a scraper and some de-icer in the car for mornings when you are stuck.
As the engine warms the car from the inside, get scraping from the outside. Don’t wipe windows with your hands - your mitts will leave greasy smudges.
5. Never use boiling water on glass
The rapid expansion and contraction of the ice can cause the screen to crack.
6. Wait until all the glass is clear before you drive off
It’s worth waiting an extra few minutes to make sure your car is safe to drive before you head out in the icy weather.
One final warning - be sensible and smart!
Insurance experts say car owners who start their car on a frosty morning and then go back indoors, even for a moment, leave themselves open to the vehicle being stolen and not being covered by their insurance.
It is thought the increased danger from so-called 'frosting' is because, as cars become more secure, thieves have turned their attention to opportunist chances.
The AA advises motorists to give themselves more time on frosty mornings to de-ice the car using a scraper rather than leaving the engine running and risk having the car stolen.
Ian Crowder of the AA says: “Cold weather is a car thief’s friend and the security of the car is only as strong as the security of your keys.
“If you put your keys in the car and then walk away from the vehicle you cannot expect your insurance to pay out.
"You have a duty of care to not behave in an idiotic manner which puts your property at risk.”
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