News from Brake
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
Heavy snow and ice has swept across Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England making driving conditions extremely dangerous and stranding hundreds of people overnight.
Commenting on the situation, Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “We urge caution for all road users and encourage drivers currently stranded on roads across the UK to follow the advice of local police and rescue services.
“Ice, snow and heavy rain significantly increase the risk of crashes on our roads, with stopping distances increasing up to ten-fold and poor visibility blinding drivers to upcoming hazards .
“For those yet to travel, we strongly urge that you avoid driving in these conditions and make alternate arrangements. If you must drive, be prepared, drive carefully and cautiously and be extra vigilant for people and hazards.”
Notes to editors:
 Driver advice: winter and bad weather driving, Brake, 2017
Snow and ice: follow these tips if you get caught driving in snow and ice:
- use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin, but taking care not to let your speed creep up.
- brake gently to avoid locking the wheels. Get into a low gear earlier than normal and allow the speed of the vehicle to fall gradually.
- take corners very slowly and steer gently and steadily to avoid skidding. Never brake if the vehicle skids, instead, ease off the accelerator and steer slightly into the direction of the skid until you gain control.
- If stuck in snow, do not spin the wheels or rev the vehicle, as this will dig the vehicle further in. Instead, put the vehicle into as high a gear as possible and slowly manoeuvre the vehicle lightly forwards and backwards to gently creep out.
- if you are stuck fast, stay in the vehicle unless help is visible within 100 yards. Do not abandon your vehicle as this can hold up rescue vehicles.
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.