Isle motorists’ checklist for big freeze

19th January 2013. Council gritting on the streets of Doncaster.
19th January 2013. Council gritting on the streets of Doncaster.

Prepare for journeys during freezing weather conditions to help avoid the increased risk of a collision, motorists are warned.

During winter months the number of road traffic collisions attended by Humberside Fire and Rescue Service jumps up, and road users are urged to take a great deal of extra care.

Louise Marritt, Road Safety Team Leader at Humberside Fire and Rescue Service said: “There are lots of things you can do to make your journey less stressful. Simple steps, from taking an emergency kit, checking your route for delays before you set out, to taking an alternative route if you need to, can make your journey a great deal easier.

“When you are on the road, remember to pay attention to traffic, weather and road conditions. Be ready to slow down and take extra care, especially on bends and exposed roads”

“Severe weather is not just about snow and ice. It includes strong winds and floods too. Remember to ask yourself, ‘is my journey really essential?’”

Louise advises that you carry out the following checks regularly and especially before setting off on long journeys;

• Have your vehicle serviced

• Check and replace the anti-freeze in the radiator and top up screen wash

• If your battery is not reliable – replace it. Most batteries last between two to four years

• Lights get dirty with spray from the roads at this time of year. Keep them clean and check bulbs often

• Check your tyres are correctly inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure for your vehicle and its load

• Keep windscreen, windows and mirrors clean. Dirty windows and mirrors can make it hard to see in low winter sun, extra spray, ice or rain. Replace worn wiper blades

• Before setting off, make sure windows and mirrors are clear of mist, ice and snow, both inside and out.

Carry an emergency kit in the boot of your car, in case of a breakdown. Items suggested are as follows;

• Ice scraper and de-icer

• Torch

• Warm clothes and a blanket

• A pair of boots

• First-aid kit

• A set of battery jump leads

• A shovel

• Food and a warm drink in a flask

• A pair of sunglasses to protect you from the glare of the low winter sun

• Ensure your mobile phone is fully charged in case a roadside phone is unavailable