The dangers of driving in frozen rain

You will definitely have noticed that temperatures have dropped and roads have become extremely dangerous in the last few weeks.

You will have also noticed that there have been constant weather warnings across the UK, including snow and what some are calling frozen rain. So what is frozen rain?

Well, in a nutshell, frozen rain is a lot like a ‘hierarchy freezing process’. It starts with snow, which then falls and turns back into rain due to temperature change, and then when it hits the sub-zero ground it freezes.

One of the worst things with frozen rain is that it’s a lot like black ice, because it’s almost impossible to see in some places, which make it all the more dangerous when you’re on the road.

This treacherous weather condition has already taken its toll across the country as Cumbria has seen 97 crashes and reports of lorries jack-knifing off motorways. A spokesman for Cumbria council described the weather conditions as ‘a sort of perfect storm’.

As this frozen rain may be around for a few more days it is essentially to be prepared and to make sensible decisions about whether or not you should go out.

A Cumbria Police spokesman said “If your journey is not essential, then please do not drive. If you do have to travel, please take extreme care when driving, slow down and keep a substantial braking distance from the car in front.”

Sadly, the winter weather is here to stay – for the foreseeable future at least – and now the Highways Agency has also offered some advice on driving in the treacherous conditions.

Jason Glasson, of the Highways Agency’s severe weather team, said: “We are expecting a range of severe weather conditions over the next 24 hours, including the risk of freezing rain, snowfall and ice.

“Not every journey is essential in severe weather, but if you really must travel in the worst conditions, check your vehicle before you set out; take a severe weather emergency kit; check traffic and weather conditions and always plan your journey”.

If you do intend to set out on the road it is also worth considering how you are looking after your car, because it doesn’t help if you are driving out in an ice cube. A Perrys winter service can also help ensure your car is ready to cope with the winter weather.

Of course, the even more prepared will be using winter tyres or even winter snow socks.

The frozen rain should be leaving us soon, but you should still keep an eye out and be cautious on the road, as you never know what Britain’s un-predictable weather has in store for you.