Charity urges caution during bad weather

SAFETY: Motorists are being urded to drive with caution during poor weather conditions this winter.
SAFETY: Motorists are being urded to drive with caution during poor weather conditions this winter.
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Motorists are being warned to drive with caution on icy roads as temperatures are expected to plummet across the region.

Met Office forecasts show temperatures in Leeds will drop below freezing this week and a road safety charity has called for drivers to be aware of risks on the road.

It comes after new research commissioned by Brake and Direct Line shows that more than half of motorists drive too fast in poor weather conditions.

The survey also revealed that more than 70 per cent of drivers have poor knowledge about winter stopping distances and two thirds of those surveyed think others to not leave enough space to stop safely.

Gary Rae, campaigns and communications director for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Our roads are at their most dangerous during the winter months, so drivers must be at their most cautious.

“We don’t want any more families to be torn apart by crashes caused by drivers not adapting to the conditions.”

Mr Rae said the stopping distance in wet weather should be doubled and that it can increase by up to ten times in icy and snowy conditions.

He added: “If snow is forecast, we urge people to think about whether their journey is necessary, but if you get caught out driving in bad weather the critical thing is to slow right down and keep your distance, bearing in mind it will take you much longer to stop in an emergency, and to react in the first place, if visibility is reduced.”

The research shows that more than a fifth of motorists surveyed fail to check the gap between their car and the car in front.

It also reveals 21 per cent of drivers don’t leave large enough gaps on the read, which Brake warns could lead to a crash if they have to break suddenly.

The charity recommends that motorists leave at least four seconds between their vehicle and the one in front when driving in wet weather.

SURVEY FOR DRIVING IN BAD WEATHER

Road safety charity Brake and insurance company Direct Line commissioned a survey to find out how much motorists know about driving in wintry weather conditions.

The results of the survey revealed:

More than 70 per cent of drivers questioned had poor knowledge about stopping distance in winter weather conditions.

Two thirds of those surveyed think others to not leave enough space to stop safely.

More than a fifth of motorists who were surveyed fail to check the gap between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them on the road.

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