Jim Clark... whose most spectacular accident was during the 1964 Indianapolis 500. A tyre burst at 170 m.p.h. and he took nearly a mile to coast his car to a stop.

I sat on the edge of my seat. Would Emma Peel cope? Would John Steed get to her aid quickly enough? Would The Avengers be avenging next week?

A few minutes later my mind was put completely at rest, Emma, alias Diana Rigg was perfectly recovered and we spoke on the 'phone.

Although Diana drives a Lotus Elan in The Avengers series, her personal transport off the set is a mini.

"I started driving last April," she said, "and thoroughly enjoy it. But I am not looking forward to winter driving.

"Could you deal with foggy, snowy, icy driving in TV Times?"

To cope with all the facets of winter driving one would need a hefty book, but here are a few general points.

The best rule is not to drive when there is fog around.

If you do get caught out, however, the best thing to do is slow down and switch on the dipped-beam headlamps.

Never try to make up time in fog by driving too fast for the conditions, and never rely on sidelamps alone. In daytime fog you will not be seen by other drivers.

Use your windshield wipers to clear the greasy moist film which fog coats on to everything. Use a chamois to clean condensation from the inside of the glass. Avoid using your car heater motor since this will drain the battery, which will not be charged by a slow-running engine.

Dab the break pedal occasionally. This illuminates the stop lights which will give drivers behind warning of where you are.

Never assume that the vehicle in front is moving. Many people have crashed into stationary vehicles, because they thought the red lights ahead were moving.

If you decide to leave your car and walk home, try to park it either in a side road or on a grass verge. Make sure it is parked facing the same way as the traffic stream and has parking lights on.

Driving on snow or ice is very dangerous, too. Hardly any drivers have the least idea of what to do if their cars start to skid, and of the handful who know the theory, only a minute percentage have actually practised skidding.

When you are on ice, or frozen snow, it is impossible to steer your vehicle properly, or to brake effectively; or to accelerate.

So the answer is drive slowly whenever there's likelihood of ice or whenever it's snowing or there is snow on the road.

If you do start to skid don't panic: The golden rule is steer into the skid. Do not touch the brake or throttle pedals.

Steering into the skid means turning the steering wheel in the same direction as the car is skidding.

For example, if the back end of the car is sliding off to the right (as might happen on the exit from a left-handed corner) turn the steering wheel right. But steer gently and smoothly.

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