Latest advice to motorists: watch out for ice

The Safer Roads Partnership in West Mercia is advising motorists to watch out for ice forming on the roads as temperatures continue to plummet across West Mercia.

Adverse weather conditions are continuing to make driving conditions hazardous across the region so motorists are advised to check the local conditions before driving, be prepared and adjust their driving accordingly.

Motorists are advised to drive slowly and allow more time to carry out manoeuvres as these can take longer when the surface of the road is wet, icy or covered in snow. Braking in these conditions takes up to ten times longer than braking on a dry road so it is vital that motorists slow down and allow extra time to break and stop.

Vehicle condition is also important and motorists are advised to clear all snow and ice from lights, windows and mirrors and to ensure windscreen washers are working.

Katy Jenkins from the Safer Roads Partnership says: “Conditions on the roads are still hazardous across the region. Some areas are worst affected than others so our advice is to check local road and weather conditions and drive accordingly: carry out manoeuvres carefully and avoid harsh braking and acceleration. Collisions often occur when motorists lose control of their vehicles and start skidding across the road, so it is vital that motorists reduce their speed when driving in poor conditions so they don’t end up injuring themselves or other road users.”

When preparing to drive in wintry conditions:

  • Check the local and national weather forecasts
  • Listen to local and national radio stations for up to date travel information
  • Tell someone at your destination what time you expect to arrive
  • Make sure you have warm clothes, food, drink, boots, a torch and a fully charged mobile phone in case you break down
  • In snowy conditions carry a spade
  • If severe weather strikes, don’t make any unnecessary journeys

When driving in bad weather conditions:

  • Motorists should keep well back from the vehicle in front
  • If steering becomes unresponsive it may mean water is preventing the tyres from gripping the road. Ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually
  • Rain and spray from vehicles may make it difficult to see and be seen, motorists should reduce their speed and clearly indicate at roundabouts and junctions

Vehicle condition is also a vital part of road safety. Motorists are advised to:

  • Keep lights, windows and mirrors clean and free from snow and ice
  • Make sure the car battery is fully charged
  • Add antifreeze to the radiator and winter additive to the windscreen washer bottles
  • Make sure wipers and lights are in good working order
  • Check that tyres have plenty of tread depth (the legal minimum tread depth for car tyres in the UK is 1.6mm across the centre three quarters of the tyre) and are maintained at the correct pressure
  • Make sure the brakes are working correctly
  • Make sure that you understand the meaning of all warning displays on the vehicle instrument panel: do not ignore warning signs, they could indicate a dangerous fault developing

Press release from The Safer Roads Partnership.

8th January, 2010