Drivers warned over ‘wind chill’

LINCOLNSHIRE Road Safety Partnership has issued advice to motorists as weather reports indicate temperatures are dropping and, with high winds forecast, the ‘wind chill’ will be more noticeable.

The partnership says drivers should have checked vehicles to make sure tyres, tyre pressures, coolant and washer levels are correct and that the all around condition of the vehicle will see it through the winter months.

However, it is not too late to have your garage check your car for you. It makes sense to make sure your vehicle is in good running order now, before the colder weather sets in.

Regular servicing and checking your vehicle before setting off on a journey will reduce your chances of breaking down. In rural Lincolnshire it is always good practice to carry an emergency kit.

These few simple items stored in your car can make the difference when stranded, and may prevent you from being a casualty.

In these times of economic recession money is always in short supply but always try to have your fuel tank OVER half full. If stranded you can at least stay warm with the engine running and re-charge your phone if needed.

Emergency kit contents:

First aid kit

Torch and spare batteries

Warm clothes and a blanket, (perhaps a sleeping bag), Boots, Food and a warm drink in a thermos. Some bottled water.

Reflective warning sign

Ice scraper and de-icer, Shovel

Jump leads

Sunglasses for the glare from the snow

Fully charged mobile phone and car charging lead – remember not to use your phone while driving

Driving tips:

Look out for changes in road surface – some surfaces are less resistant to ice forming

Where shade is cast onto the road ice will not melt

Isolated roads may not be gritted. If the road has been gritted, don’t assume it has worked – grit doesn’t work at below - eight degrees and doesn’t work at all on snow

Use your gears and engine braking to slow down. If you have to use your brakes, do so in a straight line before entering a corner

Before setting off it is worth checking travel updates to make sure there are no problems on your route

John Siddle, Communications Manager Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership says, ‘My advice is to be prepared for the very worst case should it all go wrong. Make sure you plan your route and you have a road map as a back up to your SatNav. Get a travel update before you set off and listen to the travel and weather news as you go.

“If the weather is bad and the forecast is for it to get worse – do you need to travel at all? If you do need to travel and your car has been prepared for winter driving and you have your emergency kit, please ensure your windscreen is clean, the other windows are free from snow and ice and properly demisted.

“Clear snow off the roof, bonnet and boot of the car. Even at slow speed ice and snow can slip over your windscreen and obscure your view and present a hazard for other road users. Slow down and give yourself extra time for your journey.’ Your stopping distance is multiplied by 10 in snow and ice!”