Winter driving: Be Prepared!

It’s that time of year where expected – or even unexpected – ice and snowfall can catch some motorists out.

PC Sharon Nelson from the Staffordshire Moorlands Local Policing Team, said: “The most important thing is to be prepared and stay safe.

“We all want to get to our destination without mishap or undue delay and just a few small changes to how we prepare ourselves and our vehicles can make a considerable difference when bad weather arrives.

“At the moment it is unseasonably warm which may lull motorists into a false sense of security. However, we will probably get low temperatures, ice and even snow at some point this winter, especially in the Moorlands and other high points, so it’s sensible to think ahead.”

Our top tips for safer driving this winter include:

* Check your vehicle over or to take it to a reputable garage which offers a winter check. Your local press will also have details of events in your area offering this service.

* Check your tyres are in good condition and inflated as recommended by the manufacturer. Legally, they must have a minimum of 3mm tread.

* Ensure the screen wash is topped up and the windscreen wipers in good condition.

* Don’t allow your vehicle to run too low on fuel – no one wants to be left stranded and potentially vulnerable.

* Always clear all snow and ice from your windscreen, side windows and roof of car before driving off. Don’t just clear a small area of your windscreen as your visibility will be impaired – and snow left on the roof may slide on to the windscreen whilst driving.

* Keep a few essentials in your car such as warm clothing, boots or shoes with a good tread, mobile phone charger, snack bars, water, and a collapsible snow shovel.

* If your journey involves driving through different areas of the Staffordshire Moorlands, Stoke-on-Trent or one of our bordering counties, be aware that different areas may have different road gritting policies. This means one area may be clear and another may become extremely hazardous for drivers.

* Allow extra time for your journey so that you don’t feel rushed and to allow for any emergencies.

* Listen to your local radio station which will have updates on the weather and road conditions and also any traffic holdups.

Author: sp24237

Communications Officer at Staffordshire Police