Take extra care on icy roads,
police caution motorists
POLICE in the Central West are warning motorists to take extra care as icy conditions cause havoc on regional roads.
Emergency services have responded to a string of crashes in and around Orange overnight and today (Sunday) and police are now urging motorists to slow down and drive to the conditions.
Canobolas Local Area Command Duty Officer, Inspector Gerard Powell, says “black ice” is making driving conditions dangerous.
“Anyone travelling through the Central West needs be mindful of the extreme risk posed by ice on the road surface and drive to the conditions,” says Inspector Powell.
“There are a few simple steps motorists should take to reduce the risk of a crash.
“Slow down, take care when overtaking, don’t tailgate and avoid braking and accelerating harshly,” he says.
Safety tips for safe motoring in icy conditions:
Watch your speed – adjust your speed to the weather, slow down when conditions deteriorate and proceed with caution, particularly in fog, snow or ice conditions;
Daytime running lights – ambient light in the mountains can be poor, especially in wintertime. You should drive with your headlights on low beam even during daytime to improve your visibility to other road users. Make sure you turn on your vehicle’s fog or head lights when the weather turns bad;
Take care overtaking – never overtake on a hill, at a bend or at intersections;
Don’t tailgate – braking distances on ice and snow-covered roads are increased compared to dry conditions. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front;
Brake and accelerate gently – braking should be gentle and early. When you accelerate, make sure you do it slowly;
Obey traffic signs – signs are there for your safety and convenience. Always obey the speed limit and advisory signs, and take special notice of wildlife warning signs. Many road accidents which occur in the alpine areas involve native animals crossing roads, particularly at night. Be aware of variable message signs as these provide up-to-date information about the weather and road conditions and if snow chains have to be fitted;
Black ice – take particular care when driving at night or at dawn or dusk as surface moisture and dew freeze and may become black ice, which is very difficult to detect on the road. Indeed, black ice can remain in shaded or low-lying areas even during fine days.