13 ways drivers can keep safe as snow blankets North East roads

Heavy snowfall in Ryhope
Heavy snowfall in Ryhope

Northumbria Police is advising road users to take extra care in the snowy and wintry conditions today.

Officers are urging people to drive according to the conditions as the region’s roads are hit by a blanket of snow.

They’ve issued the following advice:

•During wintry conditions, take extra care if out and about, particularly when driving on untreated icy or snowy roads

•Monitor conditions in the local area, as conditions may vary from place to place, look up updates on local media and check the Northumbria Police and Highways Agency websites for updates.

•Dress appropriately for the weather, especially if out on foot, but also if in the car.

•While driving in bad conditions moderate speed to match the conditions and try not to brake sharply.

•Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front as stopping distances are longer on wet or icy roads.

•Ensure adequate visibility by clearing front and back windscreens and all windows/wing mirrors before setting off.

•Keep the windscreen washer bottle topped up, preferably with the addition of winter screen wash.

•Clean front and rear headlights and use dipped headlights when driving in poor visibility, including heavy rain as well as snow.

•Be alert for pedestrians walking on roads when footpaths are too snowy or icy to use.

•An ice scraper and de-icer should be carried for day to day use, other useful items in your car include: a torch, warm clothes or a blanket, boots, a first aid kit, a shovel, a battery, jump leads and a tow rope.

•Food and a warm drink should be taken on longer journeys.

•Advise a friend, colleague or a family member of planned journeys.

•Ensure mobile phones are fully charged before travelling.