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Are You Prepared to Drive This Winter?

When snow or icy roads are forecast you should adjust your driving to suit the conditions. Be a smarter driver - check traffic and weather updates before you set off. It's worth taking a few minutes to make sure that there aren't any problems on your intended route. You can check for live updates as you travel too - but remember not to use your phone while driving.

Visit http://www.highways.gov.uk/traffic/traffic.aspx  

Check the weather at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/ 

Call the Highways Agency information line on 0300 123 5000

Tune into DAB Traffic Radio at http://www.trafficradio.org.uk/

Remember to take regular breaks from driving - tiredness and loss of concentration are major contributing factors to road accidents.

 

Before snow or ice

  • If you have to make a journey when snow is forecast, make sure you have warm clothes, food, water, boots, a torch and spade, and let someone know when you expect to arrive and your route. Try to wait until the roads have been gritted before travelling.

During snow or ice

  • Avoid travel if possible.
  • If you must drive, check the Highway Code for advice on driving in ice and snowy weather. A summary of the advice is: Take care around gritters. Don't be tempted to overtake. Slow down — it can take 10 times longer to stop in snowy or icy conditions, so allow extra room. Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Manoeuvre gently and avoid harsh braking and acceleration. If you start to skid, gently ease off the accelerator and avoid braking. If braking is necessary, pump the brakes don't slam them on. If you get stuck, stay with your car and tie something brightly coloured to your aerial.
  • If you go outside wear several layers of clothing and keep dry to prevent loss of body heat. Watch out for signs of hypothermia — uncontrollable shivering, slow/slurred speech, memory lapse and drowsiness and frostbite — loss of feeling in and pale appearance of fingers, toes, nose and ear lobes. Keep moving your arms and legs to help the blood circulate.

 

Check your vehicle is ready for winter

  • Check and replace the anti-freeze in the radiator
  • Make sure your lights are clean and check the bulbs 
  • Ensure your windscreen is clean 
  • Replace the battery if it's not reliable
  • Ensure your tyres are correctly inflated and replace them if the tread has reached the legal minimum.