Road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is urging motorists to take extra care as winter weather and plunging temperatures are predicted from this weekend.
Pressure on breakdown organisations is likely to increase significantly as motorists attempt to deal with flat batteries and other issues made worse by temperatures expected to fall several degrees below freezing across much of the country.
GEM is once again encouraging drivers to make good use of some simple safety tips in order to reduce the chance of risk, delay and difficulty.
- Don’t drive if you don’t really need to. If you have to make a road journey, ensure your car is properly equipped for the likely conditions.
- Listen for weather updates, and plan your travel accordingly.
- Prepare a set of essential items, including shovel, fully charged mobile phone, torch, ice scraper food, water, jump leads, first aid kit, warm clothes and a supply of sand or gravel to assist with grip if your wheels are spinning.
- Keep your speeds down, leave plenty of space between yourself and the vehicle in front, don’t overtake snowploughs and gritter trucks, and be ready for sudden, rapid deteriorations in conditions.
- Remember that driving in winter conditions can be hard work, so ensure you build in breaks on your journeys.
GEM road safety officer Neil Worth says: “Forecasters have made clear that it’s likely to become very cold during the weekend and into next week. We urge drivers to have a plan ready now which will hopefully make the likely winter conditions easier to deal with.
“Top of the list of course is to postpone a journey if you possibly can. Agree to reschedule a meeting or a visit if it’s not vital. In that way, you’re avoiding a lot of potential trouble for yourself, and ensuring you won’t be putting additional strain on emergency and recovery crews, who are sure to be at full stretch in the coming days.
“And if you do have to travel, please make sure you have a good breakdown policy in place”.