Police in Essex County and Chatham-Kent are appealing to motorists to slow down and drive with extreme caution due to poor driving conditions.

Essex County OPP say motorists should stay off roadways Friday evening unless travel is absolutely necessary.

The detachment says local OPP officers have responded to more than 20 collisions Friday in Essex County, including five tractor trailer involved collisions on Highway 401 between Windsor and Tilbury.

Chatham-Kent OPP say officers have responded to more than 15 weather related motor vehicle collisions within a four-hour span on Friday.

Area roadways are described as treacherous in many locations due to black ice, drifting snow and diminished visibility.

Police say driving too fast for road conditions is the number one cause of winter collisions.

Windsor Police Sergeant Steve Betteridge tells CTV News all drivers should be aware of the conditions before they travel.

“Black ice is a very challenging and dangerous driving environment,” says Sgt. Betteridge, who reminds motorists that driving is a privilege. “What comes with that privilege is the responsibility to make sure you’re safe and make sure everyone in and around your vehicle is safe.”

Motorists are urged to give themselves extra time to get to and from a destination. If the weather is uncertain, check the forecast before heading out.

Police also urge drivers to refrain from using electronic devices while driving, ensure drivers and passengers are wearing seatbelts and to move over when approaching all emergency vehicles stopped with lights activated.