Police warn motorists of icy conditions in South Cumbria

Date Published: 18/02/2013 08:58

Motorists are being urged to take extra care and drive to the conditions after ice has caused dangerous driving conditions in the south Cumbria area.

Temperatures have dropped which has led to treacherous road conditions and black ice in places.

This morning, police officers have been called to a number of collisions across south Cumbria where icy conditions are thought to be a contributory factor:

- Police dealt with a one vehicle collision outside the Windermere Hotel on Kendal Road, Windermere this morning which was reportedly due to a stretch of 150metres of ice on the road outside the hotel.
- Police are dealing with a vehicle which is currently on its side in the road on the A592 at Fellfoot
- A vehicle has hit a tree after coming off the A591 at Whitemoss, nr Ambleside
- A car has overturned on the A591 at Grasmere
- A collision has just been reported in Dalton-in-Furness. A car has left the road and has gone into a beck.

Fortunately, none of these collisions are believed to be serious. No serious injuries have been reported.

Police are urging communities to be prepared, drive to the conditions and look out for vulnerable relatives, friends and neighbours. Pavements are just as susceptible to freezing as roads, so take care when walking as well as when driving.

To keep up to date with the latest weather forecasts, visit the Met Office website: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/

You can also contact the Cumbria Highways Hotline on 0845 609 6609.

Safety advice for motorists

• Plan your journey in advance
• Check local and national weather forecasts and tune into local radio stations to check on road conditions and closures
• Tell someone at your destination what time you expect to arrive and ensure you have a charged mobile phone with you
• Make sure you are equipped with warm clothes, food, boots and a torch. In snowy conditions, take a spade
• Clear your windows and mirrors fully before you set off and carry a screen scraper and de-icer

If you have an accident, break-down or become stuck in bad weather conditions:

• Do not use a mobile phone while driving. Stop somewhere safe or ask a passenger to make the call
• On a motorway, it is best to use a roadside emergency telephone because the emergency services and breakdown recovery services will be able to locate you easily. If you have to use a mobile phone, make sure you know your location from the numbers on the marker posts on the side of the hard shoulder
• If you have to leave your vehicle to get help, make sure other drivers can see you

Vehicle maintenance:

• Keep lights, windows and mirrors clean and free from ice and snow – remember also to clear your vehicle roof of compacted snow in case it dislodges while you drive, as this could be dangerous to other road users
• Keep your battery fully charged
• Add anti-freeze to the radiator and winter additive to the windscreen washer
• Make sure wipers and lights are in good working order
• Check that tyres have plenty of tread depth and are maintained at the correct pressure. Consider changing to high performance winter tyres.

Drive according to weather conditions:

• Allow extra time and distance to brake as it can take ten times longer to stop in wet or icy conditions
• Adapt your driving behaviour. Keep in mind the decreased visibility and changing road conditions.
• Slow down and avoid sudden or jerky movements
• When driving on ice or snow use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin
• To brake on ice or snow without locking your wheels, get into a low gear earlier than normal, allow your speed to fall and use the brake pedal gently
• Be wary of satellite navigation systems as they tend to direct you over high rural roads that are likely to be closed or particularly hazardous in winter
• Do not assume that pedestrians have seen you. They may be elderly, young or not be able to hear you
• Do not attempt to cross flooded roads if the water seems too deep
• Drive slowly through water in first gear but keep the engine speed high by slipping the clutch - this will stop you from stalling
• Test your brakes when you have driven through a flood before you drive again at normal speed

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