Motorists heading home tonight are advised to check local weather reports and traffic conditions as the bad weather spreads across to other parts of the UK - with Wales, Northern Ireland, the South-West, East Midlands and the East of England also set to experience heavy snowfalls.
With snow and frost already causing problems around other parts of the UK, RAC has seen a 10% increase in call-outs this morning - with the Newcastle and Manchester areas especially busy - and expects to see higher than normal volumes continue during an extended evening rush hour as people heed the advice to stagger their journeys home.
RAC's fleet of 4 x 4 vehicles are on stand-by in the worst affected areas and extra Patrols are on the ground to help stranded motorists.
Alan Wilcock, RAC Patrol Ambassador of the Year, said: “With more bad weather forecast across the country for the weekend, we're expecting to see our number of call-outs remain above average over the next couple of days.
"We're advising motorists to check out local weather and traffic conditions before setting off and to remember that, even if there isn't snow on the ground, that black ice may be widespread and roads still treacherous. It may well be that there is no place like home this weekend."
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
RAC has around 2000 patrols across the UK who can be accompanied by media to get an accurate 'view from the road.' It also has spokespeople available in London and at its key operations centre, near Birmingham, with access to views across the M6 and RAC’s busy call centre.