Drivers should pay attention to road conditions

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I READ with great interest the comments made in the Gazette (January 13) about the conditions on the road on the night of the January 8.

I too was unlucky enough to be on the A1 travelling north at tea-time on that Friday. The road conditions were indeed awful and got worse as we drove up to Alnwick.

However, to blame the lack of gritting as the reason for the accidents which occurred both north and southbound is, I think, a little unfair.

What, may I ask has happened to common sense? All in all, I came across three accidents that night, two on the southbound side of the Felton bypass and the other just north of the exit into Alnwick.

Sadly, I was caught up in that accident and had to wait for 50 minutes for the police to attend and get traffic moving again (presumably due to the incidents at Felton).

As I understand it, having heard from someone close to at least one person directly involved, one of the accidents on the Felton bypass could probably have been avoided if a driver hadn’t been so impatient and tried to overtake on what was clear to all a very slippery road which needed to be treated with extra caution.

However, had the road been gritted, I doubt it would have made any difference, since there were drivers who seem to believe that a gritted road means that they can drive as normal and hair along dual-carriageway regardless, forgetting that gritting does NOT cover 100 per cent of the road and there could still be pockets of ice or indeed slush on which to lose control.

Gritting, as far as I’m aware, is only to help drivers who are applying good sense, driving with due care and attention to the given conditions, ie winter conditions, which call for lower speeds and leaving a greater stopping distance between yourself and the next vehicle.

Why is it that some drivers see the need to drive with their bumper practically in the boot of the vehicle in front?

Do they really think they will get to their destination faster if they do? What happens when that vehicle in front hits a patch of ice or loses control?

The vehicle behind has no time to take evasive action and would either slam into the vehicle in front or end up careering across the road, causing havoc to other drivers following. We see the results of bad driving every day, summer and winter. Gritting the roads will not prevent this.

It is time that drivers took responsibility for their driving rather than purely blaming the conditions of the road. If everyone drove with caution and used their common sense when conditions were bad, we would assuredly see far fewer accidents on our roads.

Carole A Rae,

East Lilburn,