Drivers asked to be wary of conditions across South West

PUBLISHED: 13:14 27 December 2017 | UPDATED: 14:09 27 December 2017

Drivers were stuck on the M5 for hours.

Drivers were stuck on the M5 for hours.

Kichigin

Drivers in the South West are being advised to stay vigilant and drive only if necessary due to challenging weather conditions.

Highways England issued the warning today after parts of the region had been hit by snow and heavy rain.

Traffic England website, tuning in to local radio or following us on Twitter.

Sean Dowding, operations manager said: “Gritters are out treating our routes around the clock, and we have extra recovery teams in place but it is still important to drive to the conditions when snow has fallen.

“Challenging conditions are forecast for the rest of the week. With further forecasts of snow on higher ground for later today, and heavy rain anticipated later this week, we are reminding drivers to allow extra time and to be aware of the steps they can take to improve their own safety.”

Highways England has also released tips advising motorists what to do if they are driving through heavy rain and flood water.

• Visibility is reduced in heavy rain, use your lights and make sure you can be seen - don’t just rely on the vehicle running lights if you have them. Be aware that even in lighter rain the amount of spray can also reduce visibility.

• When the road is wet it can take twice as long to stop. Slow down and maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front.

• If your vehicle loses grip (aquaplanes) on surface water, take your foot off the accelerator to slow down. Do not brake or steer suddenly because you have less control of the steering and brakes.

• Try to avoid driving through surface water as you might flood your engine.

• If you have to drive through floods, drive slowly, use a low gear and try to keep the engine revving at a high rate. Move forward continuously to avoid stalling the engine. When driving an automatic vehicle, engage and hold in a low gear.

• Test your brakes after driving through water; they may be ineffective.

• Make sure your windscreen wipers are working effectively. They will need to work especially hard in torrential rain and hailstorms and if your visibility is reduced, slow down.

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