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Ice and Snow – don’t slip up

Driving a car in the snow & iceDO NOT drive in icy or snowy conditions unless your journey is essential. If it is, take great care and allow more time. Take an emergency kit of de-icer, an ice scraper, a torch, warm clothing and boots, a first aid kit, jump leads, a shovel, a warm drink and emergency food in case your vehicle breaks down or cannot proceed.

Before you set off:

• You MUST be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from your vehicle.
• You MUST ensure that lights are clean and number plates are clearly visible and legible.
• Make sure mirrors are clear and windows de¬misted thoroughly.
• Remove all snow that might fall into the path of other road users.
• Check your planned route is clear of delays and that no further snowfall or severe weather are predicted.

When driving:

• Drive with care, even on treated roads.
• Keep well back from the road user in front as stopping distances can be ten times greater than on dry roads.
• Take care when overtaking vehicles spreading salt or other de-icer, particularly if you are riding a motorcycle or cycle.
• Watch out for snowploughs, which may throw out snow on either side. Do not overtake them unless the lane you intend to take has been cleared.
• Be prepared for the road conditions to change over relatively short distances.
• Listen to travel bulletins and take note of road signs relating to weather, road and traffic conditions ahead.
• Use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced.

When roads are icy avoid sudden distractions as these could cause loss of control. You should:

• Drive at a slow speed in as high a gear as possible; accelerate and brake very gently.
• Drive particularly slowly on bends where loss of control is more likely.
• Check your grip on the road surface by choosing a safe place to brake gently. If the steering feels unresponsive this may indicate your vehicle is losing grip.

Drive Safely this winter and modify your driving behaviour to match the road conditions.

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