A top motoring expert has issuing advice for those drivers who have no choice but to venture out in torrid wintry conditions.
Peter Rodger, the Chief Examiner of theInstitute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), suggests commuters work from home or alter their schedules when the weather is particularly bad, but if they have to drive they should pay heed to warnings about specific routes.
It is important to think ahead when driving on snow or ice and slow down, sometimes to a walking pace, if it avoids having to stop and start again. Mr Rodger advises people to use main roads, as they are more likely to have been salted than minor routes.
When driving downhill, motorists should go slowly and maintain a low speed rather than speed up and have to slow down.
If they have an accident, drivers should find out exactly where they are to guide breakdown or emergency services. Motorists that have to get out of their cars should get well clear of traffic before calling for help.
Those who sufferbreakdowns or accidents on motorways or dual carriageways are advised to leave their vehicle and stand a few metres behind and to the safe side of it, but not in front of it, Mr Rodger said.
Speaking on the issue, RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: "In bad weather motorists can very easily find themselves stranded because of the sudden changes so it is vital that take every precaution when setting out on any journey.
"Checking the local weather regularly and making sure you have the right winter kit in the car - warm, waterproof coat, blankets, boots, a shovel and a fully charged mobile phone - is essential.
"Some breakdowns are avoidable through maintenance and preparation, and some roadside incidents brought on by the driving conditions such as vehicles getting stuck or involved in accidents could be prevented by taking extra caution, leaving more distance behind the car in front or getting a set of winter tyres which provide greater traction on winter roads.
"But even with well-prepared vehicle if the weather looks like it's going to get worse, try to make a sensible decision about how necessary it is you drive in the first place."
For detailed advice on driving in winter conditions visit:www.rac.co.uk/advice/winter-driving
Copyright Press Association 2013