Motorists warned to take care on icy roads

The Safer Roads Partnership in Warwickshire and West Mercia is reminding motorists to continue to take extra care on the roads over the next few days as temperatures stay low and many roads remain icy and slippery. The Met Office has issued a yellow ‘be aware’ warning of ice for Tuesday (22nd January). As temperatures fall below freezing overnight, icy stretches are likely on untreated surfaces – especially in areas where any further sleet, snow or rain has fallen.

Driving in icy and snowy conditions can be challenging for drivers as vehicle handling changes and stopping times and distances increase. When roads are slippery, it can take up to ten times longer for your vehicle to come to a stop.

Anna Higgins, Communications Manager for the Safer Roads Partnership said “Although many main routes are clear, roads remain icy in places and smaller roads are still very icy and slippery. If you need to travel, take extra care and ensure your vehicle is in good running order before you leave. Vehicle handling can change considerably and it takes much longer to slow down on slippery roads. Reduce your speed, 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.”

21st January, 2013