Prepare for wet winter warn road safety experts

Take care around winter maintenance vehicles. Keep a safe distance behind salting lorries and snow ploughs, and don’t attempt to overtake. Watch out for banks of snow thrown up the plough. When planning your journey Ask yourself – is your journey absolutely essential? Check the local and national weather forecasts. Listen to local and national radio for travel information. Allow for a longer journey (allow at least 10 minutes longer for each planned hour) Check the outside temperature – if it is low there is a high likelihood of ice. Tell someone at your destination what time you expect to arrive. Make sure you are equipped with warm clothes, food, boots and a torch. In snowy conditions, take a spade. Clear your windows and mirrors before you set out and carry a screen scraper and de-icer. When driving in fog Drive slowly and use dipped headlights or fog lights. Don’t hang on to the tail-lights of the vehicle in front – you may be too close. Don’t speed up if it seems to be clearing; fog drifts rapidly and is often patchy. When driving on flooded roads Stay in first gear and drive slowly. Slip the clutch to keep the engine speed high and avoid stalling. If possible drive in the middle of the road to avoid deeper water near the kerb For further information call: RoadSafe 0207 344 9236 www.roadsafe.comClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Ice and slush make driving particularly hazardous – it can take 10 times longer to stop than on a dry road. When driving, use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Manoeuvre gently, avoiding sudden braking or acceleration. To brake without locking your wheels, get into low gear earlier than normal, allow your speed to fall and use the brake pedal gently. For many drivers the winter means snow, sleet, and ice that can lead to slower traffic, hazardous road conditions, hot tempers and unforeseen dangers. Drivers know that weather affects road and driving conditions and can pose serious problems, but few realise the real effects of rain and darkness. The British weather can be unpredictable. Bad weather can strike suddenly and when it affects visibility or road conditions drivers need to take special care and be aware of the risks associated with driving in bad weather conditions. Speaking today at a Westminster Briefing, Adrian Walsh, director of RoadSafe said: ‘Some fifty percent of all reported road traffic accidents at night occur in wet conditions, but in the UK it is wet on average only 10% of the nights.’ “By and large drivers realise the dangers of ice and snow and indeed many motoring organisations issue warnings about winter driving. The IA M and The Department for Transport issue guidance, but few drivers realise that the most common danger in winter is wet weather not ice and snow” he added. Further guidance can be found on: http://www.thinkroadsafety.gov.uk/advice/winterdriving.htm IAM Facts Sheets are available: Driving in Winter: http://www.iam.org.uk/Pressroom/Fact_Sheets/pdf/fac09001.pdf Driving in the wet: http://www.iam.org.uk/Pressroom/Fact_Sheets/pdf/fac14001.pdf When roads are icy or slushy It can take ten times longer to stop in icy conditions than on a dry road. Drive slowly, allowing extra room to slow down and stop. Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Manoeuvre gently, avoiding harsh braking and acceleration. To brake on ice or snow without locking your wheels, get into a low gear earlier than normal, allow your speed to fall and use the brake pedal gently. If you start to skid, ease off the accelerator but do not brake suddenly. Winter Driving Tips Good vehicle maintenance is particularly important in winter. Make sure your battery is fully charged, your tyres have plenty of tread and are the right pressure, and your wipers and lights work properly. Add anti-freeze to the radiator and top up screen wash. Keep sunglasses handy – dazzle from winter sun can be dangerous. You should always carry a scraper and de-icer to clear windows and mirrors. When roads are wet In wet weather, stopping distances will be at least double those required for stopping on dry roads. This is because your tyres have less grip on the road. In wet weather: You should keep well back from the vehicle in front. This will increase your ability to see and plan ahead. If steering becomes unresponsive, it probably means the water is preventing the tyres from gripping the road. Ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually. The rain and spray from vehicles may make it difficult to see and be seen. read more

Pop star raped spaced out and zombified woman in his hotel following

The woman claims Nagadhana – who she described as Williams’ “really weird friend” – sexually assaulted her during the alleged rape.But Ms Moore told the jury Williams, who denies rape, had told police that Nagadhana, also 32 and from Hounslow in west London, had “nothing to do with it at all” and was asleep.Ms Moore said: “He (Williams) claimed she was fine with it – she didn’t say anything about stop or get off.”In a video interview with police shortly after the incident, which was played to the jury, the complainant said that at one point during the alleged rape she had “laid down like a dead body” because she just wanted it to stop.She told an interviewing police officer: “I was quite scared. I felt more pathetic, if that makes sense. I felt just worthless.”The trial continues. A popstar raped a “spaced out and zombified” woman after inviting her back to his hotel room following a concert, a court has heard.  Oritse Williams, formerly of boyband JLS, is alleged to have tried to have sex with the complainant before only for her to leave the room.When she returned to his hotel room to look for her phone, Williams raped her, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard. The singer denies raping the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, after she met him at a nightclub following a solo concert in December 2016.A jury at Wolverhampton Crown Court was told Williams, who enjoyed chart success after shooting to fame on The X Factor in 2008, was arrested at a hotel in the city after the concert.The 32-year-old, of Croydon, south London, is standing trial alongside his tour manager Jamien Nagadhana, who denies charges of sexual assault and assault by penetration in connection with the same incident.Opening the case against the men on Tuesday, prosecutor Miranda Moore QC said Williams claimed the woman had “instigated” sexual activity after taking a taxi back to his hotel.Prosecutors allege that the rape took place after the woman and two of her friends had met Williams and Nagadhana and been given free drinks at the nightclub. The victim – who said she felt sorry for Williams during the concert – and her friends approached the singer “for a joke” in the VIP area of the club, the court heard.Initially, conversation between the women and Williams had centred on one of the alleged victim’s friends, who the singer had said “should be a Victoria’s Secret model”.After one of the women vomited and had to be put in a taxi home, the alleged rape victim and her remaining friend went back to the hotel with Williams and Nagadhana, the court heard.Ms Moore told jurors: “All three of the women began to feel a lot more affected by alcohol than they felt was normal. They all began to feel odd.”Adding that one of the women felt she had been drugged, Ms Moore told the court: “That was her feeling but there is no forensic evidence to support that.”The prosecution claims Williams attempted to have sex with the complainant “almost as soon as they had got into” the hotel room but she had made it clear she did not want to have sex and left.Ms Moore said a hotel worker had remembered the two women as being “spaced out and zombified” and also described them as being “not properly with it”. Describing how the woman went back without her friend to look for her mobile, Ms Moore said: “Once she was back in the room – she had to knock on the door – Mr Williams effectively jumped on her.”He picked her up and pushed her down on the double bed. She had already made it clear that she didn’t want to have sex with him.”All she thought was ‘I don’t want this to happen’.”The complainant told police that she had sworn at Williams during the alleged rape and told him to get off her – but felt she had not been “as ‘fighty’ as she should have been”.Following his arrest, the court heard, Williams was interviewed by police and told them the alleged victim and her friend had wanted to go back to the hotel and had instigated sexual activity.There had been a “free-flowing vibe” at the nightclub, Williams told officers, and he was getting on well with the alleged victim.During his account, Williams told police: “I’m the artist so I guess the focus is always getting to me. I think both of them, they both kind of wanted to be involved with me in some degree.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more