The Safer Roads Partnership in Warwickshire and West Mercia is warning motorists in Herefordshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire to take extra care as the weather turns colder this winter, particularly on wet roads from the recent heavy rain and flooding.
The partnership is urging drivers to be prepared for potentially hazardous driving conditions and, in the event of severe weather, follow their advice about driving on snowy, icy and wet roads. Driving in these conditions can be particularly challenging for drivers as vehicle handling changes and stopping times and distances greatly increase. It is important to drive smoothly and avoid braking sharply and accelerating quickly as this could lead to wheels locking or spinning.
Anna Higgins, Communications Manager at the Safer Roads Partnership said "We are advising all motorists to exercise caution when the weather starts to turn colder. Roads are particularly wet at the moment and could become hazardous if temperatures start to drop.
"It takes much longer for vehicles to slow down on wet, icy or snowy roads. Keep well back from the vehicle in front and allow plenty of time to slow down. Drivers are advised to look as far ahead as possible to anticipate what other road users might be planning to do especially at junctions and roundabouts. Braking sharply on a snowy, icy or wet road will only make the situation worse and could cause the brakes to lock and the car to skid."
The partnership is also reminding drivers about the importance of carrying an emergency kit in their cars during the autumn and winter months in case of a breakdown or delay. This should include an ice-scraper, torch, warm clothes and a blanket, a pair of boots, a first aid kit, battery jump leads, a shovel for snow, food and drink and sunglasses to help see in low winter sun. Motorists are also advised to make sure their mobile phone is fully charged before heading off on a journey.
Anna Higgins added: "It really is worth taking a few minutes to put a few extra items in the boot of your car that may be essential if you break down or experience a delay due to bad weather. You may not need to use them but you'll be glad you packed them if you do."