So be extra vigilant when driving in France as icy stretches of road, freezing cold mornings and patchy fog can catch out many motorists.
Do check that you have a warning triangle and at least one reflective jacket in your vehicle, although a family-pack of jackets is not expensive, and ensure they are in the car not the boot.
Keep an eye on local reports and check out the 24-hour Bison Futé traffic website.
If the worst happens and you break down wrap up well and if your mobile phone works remember the European emergency number is 112.
In your car make sure you have a winter travel kit which should consist of warm clothes and boots, food and drink, an ice scraper and de-icer, a torch, battery jump leads and, if you are expecting the worst, a spade.
Should you be driving and the weather turns nasty remember that stopping distances will increase to twice as much in the rain and ten times as much in snow.
Driving in snow needs its own particular methods, the first of which is to pick as high a gear as possible that will help avoid wheel spin.
Drive slowly and the best way to brake without skidding is to get into a lower gear earlier, let your speed go down, and brake gently.
At this time of year in France freezing fog can be a real hazard for drivers so again keep some points in mind.
Use dipped headlights or fog lights if your car is equipped with them, just remember to go back to normal lights if the fog has cleared.
Don’t think you are clear of the fog and accelerate away because very often anther heavy patch is around the corner and you will soon find yourself in the middle of it.
But the wisest piece of advice is if severe weather arrives, don't drive unless your journey is absolutely essential - delay it until the weather improves.
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