Drivers reminded how to stay safe in winter

As the weather becomes colder and the evenings draw in Sussex Police are encouraging drivers to remind themselves with how to stay safe on the roads this winter.

This time of year brings about many more variations in conditions for driving; including weather, road conditions and lighting.

Inspector Andy Judson of Sussex Police’s Road Policing Unit said: “It is important that all drivers adapt their driving to meet the conditions and always build in time to prepare their car before they set off, as well as additional time to allow for a slower journey. Currently there are leaves and mud on the roads and motorists continually need to be mindful of such hazards.

“Make sure your vehicle is fit for purpose. Ensure that you have enough fuel for your journey and extra in case you get stuck, check your fluid levels, electrical functions such as lights, indicators, battery and that your tyres are in a good condition with plenty of tread. Screen wash should also be kept topped up as road spray quickly reduces your visibility.

“Before setting off drivers should make sure that mirrors and all windows and lights are clear from ice, frost or condensation. On dark, cold mornings it is all too easy to jump in your car and drive off, but it is important that you have a good view of the road all around you from the start.

“Winter is around the corner and during icy conditions it will take a lot longer to bring your vehicle to a stop. Allow greater stopping distances between you and the vehicle in front - at least 10 times the normal distance - and keep your speed appropriate to the conditions. Keep your driving smooth, avoid sudden turning, braking or acceleration. Areas under trees, in shadow and on bridges tend to remain colder for longer so beware that there may still be ice patches even if the rest of the road is clear.

“Cyclists and pedestrians should make sure they wear warm, fluorescent clothing and are well lit so that they can be seen by other road users.

“Please ensure that your mobile phone has sufficient charge and you are well prepared, taking food and warm drinks and clothing during long journeys.”