Callouts to increase as Christmas shoppers venture out

After receiving nearly 15,000 calls on Friday - and nearly 140,000 since the start of the bad weather - RAC has seen a relatively quiet morning so far, with Wales the busiest area due to icy roads.

With Christmas shoppers starting to venture out RAC is expecting to see call outs increase as the day continues, with the major shopping centres set to be busy.

Drivers are advised to check out local road and weather conditions before setting out, as despite the apparent improved weather in many parts of the country, many roads are still treacherous and with temperatures falling later in the day drivers can expect to see widespread icy conditions.

RAC offers motorists the following advice when driving in these hazardous conditions:

· Check local weather and traffic conditions before setting off and in the worst affected areas avoid the trip if you can

· 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.


RAC Press Office;

Erik Nelson 01603 682264/07989 427086, Vicki Burn 01603 684224/07800 692909, Adrian Tink 01603 681922/07800 690602, John Franklin 01603 680795/07800 692110