DRIVERS have been warned by Warwickshire Police to take extra precaution over the next few days as temperatures are set to dip below freezing.
Following a mild December, winter is finally set to arrive this weekend with weather experts predicting highs of 4C and lows of -1C – though skies across the region should remain beautifully clear.
The sudden drop in temperatures will result in heavy frost and leave icy patches on the road – one factor which can lead to an avoidable collision on the road.
Police are asking motorists to drive safely – within the law – and plan journeys ahead.
Among the advice offered, officers have told drivers to ensure windscreen washer fluid is topped up, to carry a thermos flask and take a fully charged mobile phone.
Other bits of advice include:
• Make sure you have sufficient fuel for your journey. Keep the fuel tank topped up.
• Wear comfortable shoes, keep warm clothing, a blanket and sensible footwear such as boots in the car in case you get stuck or need to get out.
• Always drive within the speed limit and don’t rush or take risks – it is better to be late than never to arrive at all.
• Check that tyres have plenty of tread depth and are maintained at the correct pressure.
Adjust your driving to the conditions
• Hail, snow and rain reduce visibility – use dipped headlights and reduce your speed.
• Never assume the road has been gritted. Be prepared for some isolated sections of road and certain gradients to remain icy when more exposed sections have thawed.
• Drive with extra care, adjusting your driving to the weather conditions and allowing extra room/time to slow down and stop.
When roads are icy or slushy
• It can take ten times longer to stop in icy conditions than on a dry road. Drive slowly, allowing extra room to slow down and stop.
• Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Manoeuvre gently, avoiding harsh braking and acceleration.
• 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.
• If you start to skid, ease off the accelerator but do not brake suddenly.
The current forecast issued by BBC Weather reads clear blue skies across Leamington on Friday and Saturday.
Visit www.thinkroadsafety.gov.uk for further information about road safety.