police snow warningTHE PSNI are warning motorist across Northern Ireland to drive with care in wintry conditions.

Inspector Rosie Leech from PSNI Road Policing Unit said: “Adverse weather requires drivers to adapt their driving to suit the conditions and the following advice may be useful:

• Slow down and leave plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you

• Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock, ease off the brakes

• Make sure you turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists and always clear all ice and snow off all windows, the vehicle roof, headlights and taillights before setting off

• Drive slowly on snow in the highest gear possible.

• Never overtake snowploughs or gritting lorries. The drivers have limited visibility, and you’re also likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind

• Do not assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.

For anyone unlucky enough to get stuck in snow:

• Do not spin your wheels. This will only dig you in deeper. Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way.

• Use a light touch on the accelerator to ease your car out.

• Use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car.

• Pour sand, gravel or salt in the path of the wheels – or even use your foot mats – to help get traction.

• If you must leave your car, arrange to have it recovered as soon as possible. If you think it is in a place that may pose a danger to other road users, call local police to let them know.

It is also wise to keep a few emergency supplies in the car such as a warm blanket, a torch and some water. Ensure your phone is fully charged before setting off on any journey or keep a mobile charger in the car. Mobile phones should only be used when your vehicle is parked and stationary and never while driving.”

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