As the nights get darker and the temperature gets colder, you can ensure that your vehicle is in safe condition ready for this winter.
Top-up on the screen wash and check your tyres are correctly treaded and inflated. Stock up on the anti-freeze and de-icer and don’t forget to carry emergency supplies such as food, drink and warm clothing.
If you find yourself driving in snow or on icy or snow-covered roads, adapt your driving to these conditions:
· Reduce your speed. The chances of skidding are much greater and your stopping distance will increase massively.
· Only travel at a speed at which you can stop within the distance you can see to be clear. Speed limits are the maximum in ideal conditions; in difficult conditions, they can often be too fast.
· Avoid harsh braking and acceleration, or sharp steering.
· Always reduce your speed smoothly and in plenty of time on slippery surfaces.
· Slowdown in plenty of time before bends and corners.
· Braking on an icy or snow-covered bend is extremely dangerous. The centrifugal force will continue to pull you outwards and the wheels will not grip very well. This could cause your vehicle to spin.
· To slow down on ice and snow, lift the gas early to allow the speed to drop sufficiently to select a lower gear. If you need to use the brakes, use very gentle pressure depressing the clutch early to avoid stalling the engine.
· Increase the gap between you and the vehicle in front. You may need up to TEN TIMES the normal distance for braking.
· Keep your vehicle well-ventilated. The car heater turned up full can quickly make you drowsy.
· In snow, stop frequently to clean the windows, wheel arches, lights and number plates.
· Visibility will probably be reduced, so use dipped headlights.
· During wintry weather, road surfaces are often wet and/or covered in frost and ice or snow. But this does not occur uniformly. A road will often have isolated patches of frost or ice after most of the road has thawed – this commonly occurs under bridges.
Councillor Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for transport and the environment at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “We are now in the colder and darker months where weather conditions become unpredictable and we must travel safely.
“Don’t forget to check on your friends and family, especially those who are vulnerable and may struggle more.
“While our gritting service covers many of the borough’s roads, they cannot cover every road, especially smaller residential streets, where access is limited.
“Please check social media for advice and weather updates from the council and the Met Office and most importantly keep safe.”
Help keep the gritters moving on the road by:
- Pulling over in a safe location if a gritter is coming up behind you and allow them to pass
- Checking the local and regional weather forecasts before travelling
- Parking your vehicle on your drive or pull-up as close to the kerb as possible to allow the gritters to pass safely and with unrestricted access
For more information about local gritting routes and winter weather advice, head over to our winter page.
The latest updates can also be found on the council’s Facebook page.
The annual gritting service is managed by North East Lincolnshire Council’s delivery partner, Equans.