Icy trouble ahead warns RAC

With conditions changing rapidly across the country and snow falling in nearly all parts of the UK today - RAC is urging drivers to check out their routes home this evening and to stay on the main roads where possible.

As at 2pm calls had reached a peak of around 2,000 per hour this morning - the busiest areas are currently Wales, Northern Ireland and the North East, but with snow now falling in London, East Anglia and the South those areas are expected to become busy as we head into an extended evening rush hour.

Alan Wilcock, RAC Patrol Ambassador of the Year, said: "For many drivers the journey home may be very different to the one they had in to work this morning, a lot of areas have had significant snow fall today, and you should check your local weather and traffic reports before heading off. When you do make sure you drive to the road conditions, slow down and back off from the car in front."

RAC is expecting one of its busiest weekends of the year, as forecasts of more snow and arctic conditions collide head on with the last shopping weekend before Christmas. Drivers can expect to see increased congestion around retail parks and shopping centres.

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
  • Drive only as fast as the conditions allow and remember stopping distances are longer in ice and snow
  • Make sure your car windows and lights are clear from 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

RAC press office:

Erik Nelson 01603 682264/07989 427086, Vicki Burn 01603 684224/07800 692909, Adrian Tink 01603 681922/07800 690602, 7800 692909