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Road safety - winter driving advice from North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service

Published on 15 November 2011
North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue logo, the service are promoting winter road safety
North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service warn of the hazards of ice and slush when driving during the winter months

Next week is Road Safety Week and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to remind drivers to be safe on the roads, especially as winter is now here.

Peter Hudson, spokesman for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said “As we move towards the possibility of more severe weather driving conditions become more difficult, we would ask drivers to take the following steps to stay safer on the county’s roads and adjust their driving style according to the conditions.”

•         Take a little more time over your journey- slow down
•         Keep a safe distance from other vehicles – give yourself time to react
•         Ensure your car is checked / serviced regularly

Winter Driving Tips

The British weather can be unpredictable.  Drivers need to take special care when weather conditions affect visibility or road surfaces.

Before you start your journey, ensure your battery is fully charged, your tyres are in good condition, and your wipers and lights work properly.  Add anti-freeze to the radiator and top up the screen wash.

Keep sunglasses handy, dazzle from winter sun can be dangerous.  You should always carry a scraper and de-icer to clear windows and mirrors.

Ice and slush make driving particularly hazardous, it can take ten times longer to stop than on a dry road.

•         When driving, use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin.
•         Manoeuvre gently, avoiding sudden braking or acceleration.
•         Plan ahead, use the brake pedal gently, avoiding sudden braking where possible.

Keep a safe distance behind gritting vehicles and snow ploughs, and don’t attempt to overtake.  Watch out for banks of snow thrown up by the plough.

In severe weather, don’t drive unless you absolutely need to.  Check weather forecasts and travel information, and if possible tell someone when you expect to arrive.  Make sure you’re equipped with warm clothing, mobile phone, food, a torch and spade in case you get stuck.

Driving in fog

•         Drive slowly and use dipped headlights or fog lights.
•         Don’t hang on to the tail-lights on the vehicle in front - you may be too close.
•         Don’t speed up if it seems to be clearing; fog drifts rapidly and is often patchy

In severe weather only make journeys which are necessary. If you do have to travel, make sure you are prepared.

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