Are you prepared for the ice?
Posted by Fiona Birkwood
The cold snap in recent days has left the local authorities stretched to breaking point when it comes to keeping the roads clear of snow and ice, so there could be an occasion where you find yourself on a treacherous stretch of icy road, but are you prepared for it?
Cold weather in Cumbria yesterday (February 9th) resulted in emergency services dealing with more than 100 road traffic incidents in just over six hours, caused by freezing rain.
The A66 trans-Pennine route was closed for several hours after a number of lorries jack knifed near Stainmore and the M6 saw a number of crashes as drivers were unaware of the best way to travel if the roads are covered with ice.
However, there are some simple steps you can incorporate into your driving in order to reduce the risk you are involved in a crash on the UK's roads.
The Institute of Advanced Motorists head of driver training Simon Elstow said: "We all need to respect the weather and make adjustments to deal with it. Being mentally prepared as well as having the right equipment is vital."
He recommended checking if your vehicle has ABS or ESP, as these systems require a different approach when driving on the ice and snow.
Making sure you have de-icer and a scraper in the car before setting off is also very important, as Mr Elstow noted that it is crucial to have clear visibility at all times.
Using second gear when setting off on level ground or downhill is another simple technique to reduce wheelspin and prevent the car from careering out of control.
A fact that many drivers choose to ignore when driving on icy and snow-covered roads is the fact that stopping distances can increase by as much as ten times, so Mr Elstow explained that it is vital to leave enough space to bring your car to a halt before hitting another vehicle.