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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Police warning Cumbria motorists to take care in icy conditions

Police are reminding Cumbria motorists to drive with great care and attention this morning as the icy conditions continue.

One lane of the M6 southbound at Plumpton is blocked at this time due a vehicle which has skidded on the ice there are not believed to be any injuries.

Police are urging communities to be prepared, only drive if essential and look out for vulnerable relatives, friends and neighbours. Pavements can be just as dangerous as roads if they haven’t been gritted or cleared so take care when walking as well as when driving.

Before starting your journey, please check your route, you can keep up to date with the latest situation on the roads by visiting our Traffic Link Map: http://www.cumbria.police.uk/traffic-link-map

To keep up to date with the latest weather forecasts, visit the Met Office website: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/

Drive according to the 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.

If you have an accident, break-down or become stuck in bad weather conditions:

Do not use a mobile phone while driving. Stop somewhere safe or ask a passenger to make the call

On a motorway, it is best to use a roadside emergency telephone because the emergency services and breakdown recovery services will be able to locate you easily. If you have to use a mobile phone, make sure you know your location from the numbers on the marker posts on the side of the hard shoulder

If you have to leave your vehicle to get help, make sure other drivers can see you

Vehicle maintenance:

Keep lights, windows and mirrors clean and free from ice and snow

Keep your battery fully charged

Add anti-freeze to the radiator and winter additive to the windscreen washer

Check that tyres have plenty of tread depth and are the correct pressure

Diesel powered vehicles may suffer problems in low temperatures. Normal Diesel fuel will Cloud at 0 degrees centigrade, it will form a gel at around -10 and turn to wax at around -35. For bio diesels these temperatures will be less. This can result in vehicles not starting or wax crystals blocking fuel lines and pumps. Diesel flow additives can be bought from most automotive stores to counteract this.

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