Severe weather warning for motorists

16th December, 2011

The Safer Roads Partnership in West Mercia is warning motorists in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire to be prepared for potentially hazardous driving conditions tomorrow as heavy rain turning to snow is forecast for the Midlands region in the early hours of Friday morning.

The Safer Roads Partnership is urging drivers to be prepared for potentially hazardous driving conditions tomorrow 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.

The advice from the Safer Roads Partnership is to 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.

Katy Jenkins from the Safer Roads Partnership comments: “Heavy rain turning to snow is predicted in the early hours of Friday morning for the Midlands region which may lead to hazardous driving conditions throughout the morning. Motorists need to take extra care if weather and road conditions deteriorate. Vehicle handling can change considerably and it takes much longer to slow down on wet and snowy roads. Steering may become unresponsive and if this happens, ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually. 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.”

“It is advisable to allow more time when pulling out of junctions, entering roundabouts and when merging with flowing traffic to enable you to do so smoothly, rather than accelerating quickly and risking wheel spin if the road is wet or icy. Also, look ahead and try to anticipate what other road users might do at junctions, traffic lights and roundabouts.”

The Safer Roads Partnership is also advising drivers to pack an ‘Emergency Kit’ in case of break down or delay. The kit 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 journey.

Katy Jenkins adds: “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 if you’ll be glad you packed them if you do.”