Highways England footage shows a red Nissan Micra lose control on the damp surface coming just metres from hitting the traffic officer who was dealing with an incident at the same location. No-one was injured in the collision but the footage has been released to warn other motorists of the risks involved while driving through heavy rain.
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The incident took place along a stretch of the M61 near Lancashire back in March 2019 but has only just been released by Highways England.
In a statement on Twitter, Highways England said: “This happened on the M61 last year.
“Our traffic officer was dealing with an earlier incident and had to jump over the barrier to avoid being struck.
“The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for snow and ice from 10pm tonight. Please drive to the conditions.”
Footage from a stationary vehicle shows the car pirouette in the wet weather before making contact with the barrier.
The traffic officer was forced to jump over the barrier with seconds to spare as the car came hurtling towards him.
Despite the motorist’s best intentions to slow down, the car eventually made contact with the stationary vehicle, causing heavy damage.
Traffic officer Nigel Gorton said: “We’d had a report of a collision on the M61, so I’d been dealing with that when I spotted the car skidding out of control towards me.
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“Luckily, I was able to jump over the barrier in time but a few minutes earlier I’d been getting cones and warning signs out of my car boot, so I dread to think what would have happened if I’d still been there.
“I’d definitely urge motorists to make sure they drive to the conditions as it takes a lot longer to stop when the roads are icy, and any sudden manoeuvres can lead to you losing control of your vehicle.”
Highways England have released the footage to urge motorists to slow down in difficult weather conditions throughout the winter.
The agency says road users should take extra care on roads which have been freshly gritted.
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RAC experts say motorists should drive in a bigger gear to avoid wheel spin and avoid hidden steering movements and harsh braking.
Social media users attacked the driver for not keeping within the road conditions at the time of the accident.
One user said: “Always at least one idiot that can’t/won’t drive to the conditions.”
Another added: “Idiots going too fast for the conditions. Your officer was so lucky.”
As well as the safety risks, road users who drive too fast for the road conditions can be fined and issued penalty points for dangerous driving.
Car insurance policies can even be invalidated if insurance firms believe you are driving too fast for what the road conditions allow.
Weather warnings are in place throughout the weekend with yellow warnings for rain in areas of the South West and Northern England from Friday.
Heavy wind warnings are also set to affect most of the UK on Saturday and Sunday in conditions which could cause difficulties for motorists.
Met Office has warned of some delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport services this weekend while delays are also expected for high-sided vehicles.
The Met Office says some coastal routes could also be affected by spray or waves in the weekend’s windy conditions.
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