Colder temperatures are on their way and it bring all kinds of driving hazards with it. Cumbria Police have issued their advice for drivers as winter weather approaches - be prepared.
- Stop - Road and weather conditions may change. Be ready to slow down and take more care driving if you need to.
- Look - Check your vehicle is ready for winter before your journey and always carry an emergency kit.
- Listen - Check traffic and weather updates online or the radio.
- Be prepared - Carry an emergency kit and ensure you have your charged mobile phone with you.
- Be aware - in serve weather conditions, give response teams time and space to do their jobs.
Before each journey in severe weather:
- Clean any snow and ice from all windows, lights and number plates. Make sure you can see clearly and be seen.
- Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged – but don’t use while driving.
- Take some food and a warm drink in a flask in case you get stuck. Don't forget to take any personal medication too.
- Check and replace the anti-freeze in the radiator
- Make sure your lights are clean and check the bulbs
- Ensure your windscreen is clean
- Replace the battery if it's not reliable
- Ensure your tyres are correctly inflated and replace them before the tread has reached the legal minimum.
Finally, for your own safety and that of drivers around you - make sure to drive according to the road conditions.
- Allow extra time and distance to brake as it can take ten times longer to stop.
- Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin
- To brake without locking your wheels, get into a low gear earlier than normal, allow your speed to fall and use the brake pedal gently
- Be wary of satellite navigation systems as they tend to direct you over high rural roads that are likely to be closed or particularly hazardous in winter
- Do not assume that pedestrians have seen you. They may be elderly, young or not be able to hear you
- Do not attempt to cross flooded roads if the water seems too deep
- Drive slowly through water in first gear but keep the engine speed high by slipping the clutch - this will stop you from stalling
- Test your brakes when you have driven through a flood before you drive again at normal speed