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Severe weather could spell trouble for those driving home for Christmas, RoSPA warns 


  • Weather projected to include rain, sleet, snow and fog 
  • 'Troll from Trondheim' may lead to difficult driving conditions 
  • 2021 saw 13 people killed, 356 seriously injured and 1,781 slightly injured when snow/ice was present 

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is issuing road safety advice ahead of the potential hazardous weather conditions forecasted for December. With echoes of the Beast from the East, the 'Troll from Trondheim' may lead to difficult driving conditions.  

In 2021, there were 13 people were killed, 356 seriously injured and 1,781 slightly injured in reported road accidents on Great Britain's roads when there was snow or frost/ice on the road surface.  

Becky Guy, Road Safety Manager, England at RoSPA, said: “The most important thing to remember about driving and riding safely in wintry weather is to be prepared. Make sure your vehicle is in good working condition and add enough time for a journey so you are less likely to rush to make up for any delays. 

“In extreme conditions, only make a journey if it is absolutely necessary. Don’t drive or ride as normal on snow or ice, but reduce your speed to avoid the chance of skidding. Remember to increase stopping distances massively as you may need up to ten times the normal distance when braking on icy roads. 

“Speed limits are the maximum for ideal conditions, so in difficult conditions, they are often too fast, especially on bends and corners.”

RoSPA’s tips for driving in extreme weather conditions can be found at its online Winter Safety Hub and include: 

  • Check your lights are clean and working, and you may want to carry a blanket, a pair of boots, a shovel, a high-visibility jacket and a mobile phone (although don’t use it when you’re driving) in case you get stuck in the snow 
  • If you’re on two wheels, ensure that you are wearing the appropriate winter riding gear 
  • Clear your windows, visor and mirrors completely of snow and ice before you set off (make sure the heater is blowing warm air before setting off – it will keep your windscreen clear) 
  • Keep the windscreen and windows clean and the washer bottle filled with screen wash to the correct concentration (which may be a stronger concentration during below-freezing temperatures) 
  • Items to carry in the car include de-icing equipment (keep some in the house or garage too), a first aid kit (in good order) and a working torch 
  • Avoid harsh braking and acceleration, or sharp steering, particularly on a bend as this could cause your vehicle to spin or skid. To brake on ice and snow without locking your wheels, get into a low gear earlier than normal, allow your speed to fall and use your brakes gently
  • If you’re riding a motorcycle, increase the distance to the vehicle in front, check your lights (including brake lights) regularly and use more engine braking and rear brake in wet or slippery conditions 
  • Visibility will probably be reduced, so use dipped headlights. 






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