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Fire and rescue chiefs offer advice for drivers in icy conditions after series of accidents

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: January 16, 2014

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MOTORISTS are being warned to be vigilant after emergency services attended a series of road traffic accidents yesterday thought to due to icy conditions that hit Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent overnight.

Head of Risk Reduction at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Glynn Luznyj said: “The road conditions in some parts of the county were quite hazardous on Tuesday morning and crews were called out to a number of road traffic collisions believed to have been caused because of the ice.

“I would urge people to take extra care when the carriageways are wet or slippery – slow down and drive to the road conditions, not necessarily the speed limit.

"Taking some simple precautions, such as giving yourself plenty of journey time, ensuring your tyre tread meets the legal requirement and keeping a good distance behind the car in front, could end up saving your life or someone else’s life.”

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He said drivers could follow a number of safety tips to protect themselves and their passengers as well as other road users and pedestrians.

Driving in fog

- Beware of other road users, particularly cyclists and pedestrians

- Do not use front or rear fog lights unless visibility is seriously reduced – they dazzle other road users and can obscure your brake lights. Use them when visibility is less than 100 metres.

- Make sure that you can stop within the distance you can see clearly, especially on motorways and dual carriageways where vehicles travel faster

- Use your windscreen wipers and de-misters

When driving in ice and snow

- Drive with care, even on treated roads, and do not speed

- Keep a good distance behind the vehicle in front

- Watch out for snowploughs which may throw out snow on either side

- Be prepared for the road conditions to change over relatively short distances

Prepare your vehicle

- Make sure that your vehicle is serviced and that your tyres are correctly inflated

- Make sure your battery is not faulty – if in doubt, change it

- Keep your windows clean and washer bottle full

- Make sure that your heaters are blowing hot air

Plan your journey

- Keep up to date on the latest weather forecasts

- Driving in severe conditions can be tiring, plan plenty of breaks if on a long journey

- Pack an emergency snow kit including items such as a shovel, mobile phone, torch, food, water, ice scraper, jump leads, first aid kit, warm clothes, sturdy boots, cat litter or sand

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