Ice is extremely hard to see and dangerous to drive in, sudden temperature drops can turn surface water into ice patches, day or night.
Snow or sleet showers also make driving conditions extremely dangerous.
Here are some tips for driving safely in these wintry conditions.
- Allow up to 10 times the usual braking distance in icy conditions
- Avoid sudden braking, acceleration or steering
- If the weather is bad or heavy snow forecast try to re-schedule your journey
- Snow dramatically reduces visibility, reduce your speed and use dipped headlights
- Traction is a major problem in snow and ice. Keep your wheels turning as slowly as possible, especially when pulling away.
- Ensure tyres are inflated correctly with a minimum of 3mm of tread
- Make sure your screenwash is topped up, using the right concentration to ensure it does not freeze
- Stay in a higher gear to have better control, move off in a higher gear rather than first if it is slippery
- On a downhill slope keep your speed low, do not let it build up
- If you get into a skid take your foot off the pedals and steer
- Only use the brakes if you cannot steer out of trouble
During freezing weather conditions boiler heating systems are at a higher risk of breaking as pipes can freeze.
When a drain pipe freezes, waste liquid can sometimes travel back up to the boiler, causing it to cut out.
Here are some tips on how to reduce the risk of damage to your heating system.
- Insulate boiler pipes with lagging, preparing them for icy weather (including the corners)- Put lagging on pipes that may be outside- Ensure your loft insulation is thick enough, it should be approximately 10 inches thick- Ensure your home is insulated
- Make sure you know where your stopcock is and ensure you can turn it on and off.- Make sure your boiler is serviced by a Gas Safe professional- If you are away from home for a few days, keep your heating on constant on a low level (around 15 degrees)
- If you are away for a longer length of time and wish to save money, shut down the system completely, turning off all the mains stopcocks, drain pipes, toilets and radiators.-If your pipes do freeze, turn the water off, drain the system and leave the taps open.
Bus company Centro say the following buses have been cancelled:
Number 22 and number 26 which go to Bloxwich.
Number 637 which goes through Palfrey on to the Pleck.
More photographs of the motorist driving a car on the M4 covered in snow, except for a gap just inches wide cleared on the windscreen, are emerging.
If it were not for these photographs undisputedly showing the car in motion many might be in disbelief.
A passenger with Paul Buckley from Staffordshire took the latest picture as he thought no one would believe him:
"I was driving on the M4, came down the slip road and thought that's a snowy car. Then I went past him and realised he couldn't see out the windows. I couldn't believe it, I was doing 70mph on the inside lane and he overtook me in the middle lane."
When Mr Buckley reached his destination he took to Twitter to share his disbelief.
A photo of the car was also taken by Stephen Sorby when he was travelling in a car with his friend just before midday yesterday between junctions 28 and 29.
He took to Twitter to vent his outrage after witnessing the snow covered car. He told ITV News Central: "We are outraged with what we saw, we couldn't believe anyone would drive like that. So careless to risk the lives of others."
Weather update: 3-5cms snow until 6pm, then turning lighter. Light snow and sleet for Monday, and very cold all week. #staffssnow
M1 Is now fully open. It is still incredibly wet and icy. Please only go out if you have to. It's not going to get any better soon
Emergency services are warning people to take care in the snow after several reports of sledging accidents.Read the full story ›
Northamptonshire Police are reminding motorists to remove snow from their cars before embarking on their journey.
Police tweeted this photograph as a stark reminder of how dangerous it can be to not remove snow from a vehicle before heading onto the roads.
It was taken on the M4 between junctions 28 and 29 just before midday today.
Stephen Sorby took this photograph when he was travelling from London to Wales with his friend. He said he couldn't believe what he had seen:
"We are outraged with what we saw, we couldn't believe anyone would drive like that. So careless to risk the lives of others." Mr Sorby estimates that the car was travelling around 60mph to 70mph.
Tips for driving safely in winter conditions.Read the full story ›
Here are your top tips for staying safe in the snow, courtesy of Midlands Air Ambulance.Read the full story ›