As at 4pm calls had increased at their peak to around 2,600 per hour, with RAC expecting to have received in excess of 15,000 calls by the end of Friday - with the busiest areas still in Scotland, Yorkshire, the North East and the Midlands where snow, ice and plummeting temperatures is still causing massive disruption.
Many motorists appear to be heeding advice and heading home early for the weekend. With drivers advised to check out local road conditions before setting out, nearly 100,000 people a day are checking RAC traffic updates - with nearly half of those using the RAC traffic application from their mobile phones.
RAC offers motorists the following advice when driving in these hazardous conditions:
- Check local weather and traffic conditions before setting off and if you can avoid the trip do so
- Give yourself extra time and stick to the main roads where possible as they're the most likely to have been treated
- If you're travelling any distance, let someone know where you're going and when you expect to arrive
- Make sure your car windows and lights are clear from ice and snow
- Take extra clothing in the car, food and drink, scraper and de-icer, a charged up mobile phone, torch and potentially a shovel
- Drive only as fast as the conditions allow and remember stopping distances are longer in ice and snow
- Black ice can just appear to be wet patches on the road surface and tends to form on bridges and overpasses where the cold air can pass above and beneath the road surface
- If the noise from your tyres on the road suddenly becomes quiet, it may well be you are driving on ice
- Gentle manoeuvres are key to safe driving in ice and snow - use your accelerator, brakes, steering and clutch as gently as possible
- If you're unfortunate enough to skid, steer into the skid and avoid the temptation to slam on the brakes