Police urge drivers to take care in snow

SUFFOLK Police today urged motorists to be alert and take extra care on the county's roads as the first snow of winter fell.

SUFFOLK Police today urged motorists to be alert and take extra care on the county's roads as the first snow of winter fell.

A spokesman said that darker days and deteriorating weather conditions tend to lead to a surge in the number of road traffic collisions.

Chief Inspector Mike Bacon, from the Constabulary's Roads Policing Unit, said: “The onset of winter and the darker mornings and evenings will unfortunately mean more accidents on our roads.

“It is inevitable that the cold weather will make driving more hazardous, but there are a few simple precautions that any driver can take:

“Only undertake necessary journeys if it is icy and keep an eye on the weather forecast.

“If you have to go out, take a fully charged mobile phone and emergency clothing and warm drinks.

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“Make sure your vehicle is up to scratch, with well maintained lights and tyres and carry de-icer. Importantly don't drive until the windscreen is free from frost or mist.

“Allow more time for your journey with additional stops en route, as winter driving tends to be more demanding. And if there are poor weather conditions and visibility, remember to slow down and use dipped headlights.”

Chief Inspector Bacon added: “We want to see a reduction in the number of casualties on our roads, so remember to follow the four key driver rules, don't drink and drive, belt up, slow down and stay off your mobile phone.

“Throughout winter please take extra care and every precaution you can to stay safe on our roads.”

Suffolk Police's top tips for winter driving:-

During wintry weather conditions:

- Ask yourself - is your journey essential?

- Check the local and national weather forecasts.

- Listen to local and national radio for travel information.

- Tell someone at your destination what time you expect to arrive.

- Make sure you are equipped with warm clothes, food, boots and a torch. In snowy conditions, take a spade.

- Clear your windows and mirrors before you set out and carry a screen scraper and de-icer.

Vehicle condition:

- In winter it is even more important to check your vehicle is well maintained and serviced.

-Keep the lights, windows and mirrors clean and free from ice and snow.

- Keep your battery fully charged.

- Add anti-freeze to the radiator and winter additive to the windscreen washer bottles.

- 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.

Adjust your driving to the conditions:

- Hail, heavy snow and rain reduce visibility.

- Use dipped headlights and reduce your speed.

- Dazzle from winter sun can be dangerous. Keep a pair of sunglasses handy and slow down.

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