As treacherous weather conditions continue to sweep across the UK, the RAC has warned that freezing rain could catch drivers out.
The phenomenon – caused by droplets of rain instantly freezing once they hit the ground – is more likely to go unnoticed by motorists than snow, sleet or hail, warns the RAC.
“Freezing rain perhaps represents one of the greatest challenges any driver could face,” said RAC traffic spokesman, Rod Dennis. “Droplets of rain which come into contact with the ground and other surfaces freeze instantly. This creates a huge hazard as roads may look clear and safe, despite actually being potentially icy death traps.”
If the temperature gauge in your car is reading zero degrees of less and it starts to rain, it’s very likely to turn to freezing rain. This means sheet ice could form on roads very quickly, making it very dangerous for motorists not driving to the conditions.
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Dennis added: “If you are driving and encounter freezing rain, slow down gently and be prepared for your vehicle to lose grip and potentially skid. Hold the steering wheel with both hands, try to use lower revs by getting into a higher gear and avoid braking on bends by slowing down on the straight.
“Also be aware that other drivers will be encountering similar conditions so keep a large gap between yourself and the car in front. If you don’t feel confident driving in the conditions or if conditions worsen, find somewhere safe to park, be prepared to leave your vehicle and wait for conditions to improve.”
As well as causing dangerously slippery roads, rain can also freeze directly onto your windscreen while driving. Keep the heater on and directed to the windscreen while driving to prevent this happening.
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