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Cornwall Set To Freeze

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5:15pm 28th November 2012

Cornwall gets an ice warning.

Temperatures are set to plummet on Wednesday night.

It is feared waterlogged ground from the recent storm and floods will freeze over and run off from fields will wash away any salt put down by gritters.

They will be out treating roads across the Duchy from 7pm.

“The recent heavy rain we have experienced coupled with the freezing temperatures means that the flood water will turn to ice- creating a very difficult situation on the roads” said Jeremy Edwards, the Council’s Highway Network Manager. “Some of this may well be black ice which will add to the problems for drivers”.

“We can never guarantee that roads will be free of ice and would urge everyone  to ensure that they drive according to the existing road and weather conditions."

Bert Biscoe, portfolio holder for transportation, highways and environment operations, said:

"Although the Council and other agencies work hard to manage winter weather please check forecasts before you travel.  Don’t assume a road has been treated, drive carefully and think of others – it can take up to ten times longer to stop in icy conditions so please reduce speed and keep a reasonable distance between yourself and other vehicles, look out for pedestrians and cyclists and, be especially careful on minor roads, driving according to the weather and road conditions you are experiencing – a road can be treacherously icy, especially in the morning, even if the sun is shining.

“If you find a dangerous situation on any road please – safely – let the Council know."

Here are top tips for driving safely in icy conditions:

  1. Check the weather in advance – don’t ignore police warnings about closed roads.
  2. Ensure you have de-icer and a scraper.  Before setting off, make sure you clean any ice or condensation from all the windows to optimise visibility. 
  3. A squirt of WD40 will prevent your door locks from freezing up.
  4. When you set off, do so in second gear, releasing the clutch and accelerating gently, avoiding high revs – this will prevent wheel spin. 
  5. Use the ‘ice’ setting if your car has one
  6. As you drive, stay in higher gears and don’t drive too fast to avoid losing control.
  7. Stopping distances are increased by up to 10 times in icy conditions, so leave plenty of distance between your car and the car in front - plan so that you’re not relying on your brakes to stop - on ice they may not do that for you. On bends, approaching junctions, and going downhill, reduce your speed early so you have control and are in a suitable gear before driving through them.
  8. Skidding on ice is the main concern for those driving in freezing conditions. If your car loses grip, take your foot off the accelerator, and point the front wheels where you want to go. If you find yourself in a skid, steer into it.
  9. Keep to the main roads as they’re more likely to be gritted. Also bear in mind that after the frost has gone, ice can remain in areas which are shaded by trees and buildings.
  10. Where you park can help reduce your risk of being involved in someone else’s accident. So look for off road parking where possible or gritted roads if not.
  11. Make sure your wipers are in the off position when you stop – they can freeze to the window. 

Chief examiner from the Institute of Advanced Motorists, Peter Rodger, said:

“When the roads are icy the best advice is to drive as if you’re walking on eggshells. Be prepared for the worst – icy conditions can affect accelerating, steering and braking.  Being mentally prepared as well as having the right equipment is vital, so think about any problems you encountered last winter, and what you need to do to overcome them if they recur this year.”

5:15pm 28th November 2012

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