Thanks to the medium of the internet we can now all receive weather alerts straight to the phone. If you’re an RMC or RTM director responsible for getting the salt out in the snow to reduce the risk of slips on ice, frost or snow you can sign up to receive Twitter alerts from the Met Office. https://twitter.com/metoffice/alerts is the link.
It makes sense to do some sort of assessment, like identifying the areas most used by pedestrians, like building entrances, car parks, shortcuts, walkways even sloped areas constantly in the shade or wet.
The best time for gritting is early in the evening before the frost settles and early in the morning before the pedestrian areas start to be used. Salt does not work instantly, it needs time to dissolve into the moisture on the floor.
Regularly maintain vehicles, checking on water, oil and anti freeze levels. Checking tyre condition and windscreen wipers will also help to ensure you are ready for whatever may happen. If you have to drive in snowy conditions a summary of advice is:
- Take care around gritters. Don’t be tempted to overtake
- Slow down as it can take 10 times longer to stop in snowy conditions
- Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin and manoeuvre gently. Avoid harsh braking and acceleration.
- If you start to skid, gently ease off the accelerator and avoid braking. If necessary pump brakes, don’t slam them on.
- If you get stuck, stay with the car and tie something brightly coloured to the aerial.
- Outside wear several layers of clothes and keep dry to prevent loss of body heat.
- Watch for signs of hypothermia like uncontrollable shivering, slow speech, memory lapse and frostbite. Keep moving arms and legs to help the blood circulate.
A brilliant fact sheet on safe driving tips is available from ROSPA. Click below. http://www.rospa.com/rospaweb/docs/advice-services/road-safety/drivers/winter-driving-tips.pdf