'Avoid travel': Police warn West Yorkshire drivers following crashes in heavy snow

Police have issued a warning to drivers this morning following a number of crashes in West Yorkshire.

By Abbey Maclure
Tuesday, 29th December 2020, 10:08 am

Heavy snow has fallen across large parts of the county, causing dangerous driving conditions.

West Yorkshire Police's Roads Policing Unit (RPU) shared a picture of a black Audi on social media, which had crashed on the A1(M) near Ferrybridge.

The M62 eastbound entry sliproad at Junction 31, Normanton, was also closed this morning following a crash.

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Police were called to a crash on the A1M near Ferrybridge (Photo: WYP)

The RPU warned: "Roads Policing are attending a number of reports of collisions this morning due to the heavy snow.

"Please drive to the conditions and avoid unnecessary travel."

Roads across the Wakefield area were not gritted overnight, Arriva Yorkshire has reported.

This has caused delays to bus services, with buses only able to serve main roads.

North Yorkshire Police has also warned drivers to take care, particularly when travelling between Harrogate and Ripon.

The force tweeted: "Snow is falling in most of North Yorkshire this morning. Particularly the A61 road between Ripon and Harrogate is treacherous.

"Please drive carefully and allow extra time for your journey."

How to drive safely in snow

- Slow down

Snow, ice and water on the road reduce grip and, coupled with poor visibility in bad weather, they mean it’s essential that you cut your speed.

Stopping distances can be 10 times greater in snow and ice so slowing down gives you more time to react to other traffic or hazards on the road ahead.

However, be careful that you don’t drive so slowly that you risk losing momentum. On snow-covered roads and especially on hills this could see you stuck and struggling to get moving again.

- Keep it smooth

As well as keeping your speed down you need to keep your inputs smooth. Sharp acceleration, braking or steering are more likely to cause your car to lose grip, leaving you with no control.

Where you can, try to use engine braking to slow down, that way you’re less likely to skid.

- Leave more space

With stopping distances seriously increased by slippy conditions it’s vital you leave more space between your car and the vehicle in front.

It’s also important to try and anticipate what other drivers are doing - being properly aware could save you from a crash or being stranded as others grind to a halt. It also means you're less likely to have to brake or steer suddenly.

- Use a high gear

If your car is struggling to find grip, especially when pulling away, trying selecting a higher gear. This should reduce the amount of wheelspin and help you get moving.

- Stay seen

With shorter days and the prospect of rain, fog or snow making visibility worse, it's important to make sure you can see and be seen. Check all your lights work and are clear of snow or ice before setting off.

Don't wait until it's pitch black to use your headlights and don't just rely on running lights when conditions deteriorate. If it's snowing heavily, dipped beams may actually work better than full beams.

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