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Paramedics urge Victorians to take care on the roads

July 12, 2016 | in News, Public Safety

Paramedics want motorists to change their driving during wild weather forecast over the next 24 hours.

Snow is forecast tonight and tomorrow morning in areas above 300 metres.

Ambulance Victoria Driving Standards Co-ordinator Nick Thresher said with black ice and snow likely in many areas, people should avoid driving where possible.

‘The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it,’ Mr Thresher said.

‘Unfortunately for Ambulance Victoria paramedics it is often as a consequence of somebody else driving in snow and ice that we have to go out in it.

‘Our paramedics have undergone an extensive driver training program, that has been copied by other ambulance services.

‘They’re given a number of tips on how to stay safe. Many of these apply to everyday driving like reducing your speed and leaving plenty of room to stop. In ice and snow you should leave three times more space than usual between you and the vehicle in front.’

Other tips include:

  • Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
  • Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently travelled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
  • Don’t assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.
  • Brake gently to avoid skidding and if your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
  • If your wheels skid, ease off the accelerator.