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Dorset Police urge drivers to be safe this winter

Police in Dorset are urging people to take extra precautions when driving during this coming winter period as part of the Force’s Countdown to Christmas campaign.

As the cold and wet weather sets in driving conditions are likely to deteriorate.

Advising motorists, Inspector Matt Butler, of the Dorset Police Traffic Unit, said: “In wet weather, stopping distances will be at least double those required for braking on dry roads.

“If the steering becomes unresponsive, it means that water is preventing the tyres from gripping the road. Ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually.

 “You should keep well back from the vehicle in front. This will increase your ability to see and plan ahead.”

Considerate and responsible driving is especially important in snowy conditions. Urging drivers to be prepared, Inspector Butler continues: “Check the local weather forecast for warnings of snowy weather. Do not drive in these conditions unless your journey is essential. If it is, take great care and allow more time for your journey.

“Remove all snow and ice from all your windows and the rest of your vehicle before setting off on your journey so you have a clear view.

“Make sure the mirrors are clear and the windows are de-misted thoroughly.

“Ensure that lights are clean and number plates are clearly visible and legible.

“Check your planned route is clear of delays and that no further snowfalls or severe weather is predicted.

“When driving in icy or snowy weather, take care when overtaking vehicles spreading salt or other de-icing materials, particularly if you are riding a motorcycle.

“Avoid overtaking snow ploughs as they may throw out snow on either side.

“Be prepared for the road conditions to change over relatively short distances.

“Listen to travel bulletins and take note of variable message signs that may provide information about weather, road and traffic conditions ahead.”

Dorset Police will be issuing further information for driving during winter via the Force Twitter account using #DPXmasCountdown.

Follow Dorset Police on Twitter @dorsetpolice

For more information and updates on how the winter weather is affecting the Dorset County Council area, please follow this link: http://www.dorsetforyou.com/winter

Issued: 9 December 2013