Motorists warned to take care on icy roads

The Safer Roads Partnership in Warwickshire and West Mercia is reminding motorists to take extra care on the roads during the current cold spell, as freezing temperatures have caused icy and slippery roads in many areas across the region.

With temperatures plummeting overnight, road conditions in the mornings are becoming hazardous in some areas, with reports of black ice and slippery roads. Driving in these conditions can be particularly challenging for drivers as vehicle handling changes and stopping times and distances increase.

Anna Higgins, Communications Manager for the Safer Roads Partnership said “There have already been numerous reports of hazardous driving conditions in the mornings and motorists need to take extra care when weather and driving conditions deteriorate. Vehicle handling can change considerably and it takes much longer to slow down on wet and icy roads. Keep well back from the vehicle in front and allow plenty of time to slow down.

“Steering may become unresponsive and if this happens, ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually. Braking sharply on an 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 winter months in case of a breakdown or delay. This should include items such as 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 long journey.

Anna Higgins added: “It really is worth spending a couple of minutes to put a few extra items in the boot of your car that could be essential if you breakdown 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.”

15th January, 2013