Driving in winter can often be more dangerous than you'd think. What are some of the essential items to keep in your car over the season?

Ensure you prepare your car for hazardous conditions with a good pair of snow tyres, an ice-scraper, and a torch.

Alan Nelson, a former traffic officer for Northumbria Police for 25 years, said: "If you break down, put your hazard warning lights on. That will attract someone's attention."

"We'd stop at every car that looked like they needed help."

When broken down, explaining your location well to the emergency services "is paramount" so they easily can find you.

In modern start-stop cars, it's important to make sure your battery is good, in case of failure. Charge it in daylight and drive in daylight hours to make sure your lights and battery work.

Keep emergency numbers saved in your phone contacts for quick access.

Items such as a warning triangle, reflective vests, and a power pack or phone charger are also helpful.

Check the weather forecast and plan your journey: "If it's not necessary, don't do it," Alan says.

Alan used the pneumonic POWDERY in his days as a traffic officer. Check your petrol, oil, water, damage, electrics, rubber, and if you are safe to drive before making a journey.

Check your car for issues every time you drive, including the tyre pressure.

Even though the legal limit for tyre pressure is 1.6mm, Alan "would always change my tyres at 3mm" to be safe.

Change all four tyres to winter tyres. "Normal tyres are not as efficient under seven degrees, but winter tyres are still efficient under seven."

Alan has "helped those in deep water and deep snow" during his years of service.

Preserved food such as energy bars, a bottle of water, and a blanket will give you energy and keep you warm through the night if your car breaks down.