We face more fog in wake of 21-vehicle fatal crash

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The crash scene on the A40 today


FOG is again expected to cause travel problems in Wiltshire and beyond tomorrow, say forecasters said.

A crash on the A40 claimed the life of one female driver in her 50s earlier today with with around a dozen people being hurt, some seriously.

Poor visibility was blamed by motorists with the MetOffic saying that low visibility and frosty conditions were caused by clear skies and dropping temperatures.

Today the MetOffice issued a fog warning valid until noon tomorrow, saying: “Freezing fog patches will become more widespread and locally dense during Wednesday evening, overnight and through Thursday morning.

“Driving conditions will be difficult with journeys likely to take longer than usual whilst some delays to air travel are possible.

“Whilst not all areas will have fog, where it does form the visibility could be less than 100 metres.

“Combined with temperatures below freezing, there is also the risk of ice forming on some untreated surfaces particularly later in the night and early on Thursday morning.

“The fog patches are expected to slowly thin during Thursday, although some patches may persist throughout the day.”

The warning applies to the council areas of Wiltshire, Swindon and surrounding counties with gritting lorries out tonight treating roads.

A spokesman for Road safety charity Brake said: “Temperatures will be at or below freezing again overnight and fog is expected in the morning across our region.

“Following on from today’s incident on the A40 near Witney, please share this timely reminder regarding stopping distances.

“Travelling on a road in a car at 70mph in dry, clear conditions it will take you at least 96 metres (or 24 car lengths) to stop.

“It will take much longer than this when conditions are wet, icy or you have impaired visibility.”

And an RAC spokesman said: “Drivers are facing a mix of hazards – notably much colder temperatures, ice and fog that is slow to clear.

“Lingering fog calls for drivers to adjust their speed and maintain longer stopping distances. Use dipped headlights, but don’t be tempted to use full beam – thick fog simply reflects the light back making it even harder to see.

“Only use your car’s fog lights if visibility is badly reduced, as using them when it’s not means you risk dazzling other drivers.

“Motorists should remember that if their car thermometer records a temperature of 4 degrees or lower, there is a good chance the road temperature is near or even below freezing, meaning a very real risk of ice and slippery roads.

“Keep listening to traffic reports before you start your trip and, if conditions are bad, aim to stick to major routes which are much more likely to be gritted.”

And Dr Thomas Waite, of Public Health England, said: “The effects of cold can be severe, in particular for those who are over 65, have a long-term illness, or are not mobile. Our advice to these groups is when indoors, have plenty of warm food and drinks and try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18C.

“If mobility isn’t an issue, keep active as best you can. If you need to go out wear lots of thin layers and shoes with a good, slip-resistant grip to prevent any accidental falls.

“It is particularly cold at night this week, so drawing the curtains at dusk will keep the heat in.”

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