Emergency services in Cumbria have issued warnings to motorists not to venture onto roads unless absolutely necessary after freezing rain on road surfaces caused nearly 100 accidents overnight and into today.
Major routes, including the A66 route over the Pennines had to be closed by the police after several vehicles crashed when rain fell onto frozen roads, instantly creating sheets of ice that caused many drivers to lose control of their vehicles. Other roads affected include the A684 between Kendal and Sedburgh, and the A595 between Cockermouth and Carlisle. Several accidents were also reported on the M6 motorway, which runs north to south through Cumbria. As reported on the BBC news website, a spokesperson for Cumbria Police said:
"So far this morning we have had more than 60 road traffic collision reported to us, which is vastly higher than we would expect for an average winter morning. This is down to the terrible road conditions out there on the main roads...
...We have also seen a large number of collisions on the M6 and extra heavy gritting has been requested from the Highways Agency. Our advice to motorists is only to travel if journeys are absolutely essential."
Speaking about the weather conditions, meteorologists said that the presence of a band of cloud and warmer air above a layer of freezing air at ground level meant that any rain that fell froze instantly, creating sheet ice. As well as private motorists, several bus services in Cumbria were cancelled due to the road conditions and people were urged to look out for older neighbours and those with long-term health conditions if they are unable to travel to hospital or to get medication.
If you have been involved in an accident during the recent poor weather that has affected the UK, our accident claims solicitors may be able to help. Any injury you have suffered through no fault of your own and that has been caused by the negligence of another person might mean that you are eligible to claim personal injuries compensation. Our road accident solicitors help thousands of people injured in accidents, including those which have happened in poor weather conditions, to claim compensation from those responsible.