With the possibility of snow predicted to be heading for the north of England and Scotland this weekend, drivers are being advised to prepare for driving in wintry conditions.
Last winter's cold snap brought much of the country to a standstill so here are some tips for coping with the weather or possible breakdowns.
Before the journey
• Only decide to make the journey if it is absolutely necessary.
• Get your tyres checked to ensure they are fit to cope with the icy conditions. The current legal minimum tyre tread in the UK is 1.6mm. Research has found tyres with less than 1mm of tread have one third the braking friction of one at the bare legal minimum of 1.6mm. It is also important to check they are correctly inflated, ideally when they are cold, and the recommended pressure is listed in the car’s handbook.
• Clear any ice or snow off your car before setting off.
• Keep your boot filled with emergency supplies. Include both warm and bright or fluorescent clothing including headwear and gloves, water, blankets, warning triangle, a spade, torch, and some cash.
• Check the weather at your destination and give yourself plenty of time to get there.
• Ensure you have your breakdown membership details and your mobile phone with you.
If a breakdown occurs
• Consider you own safety first – if possible get your vehicle off the road and ensure all passengers are a safe distance away from it.
• Do not stand between your vehicle and oncoming traffic. Wear the bright or fluorescent clothing packed in the boot.
• If you are on a motorway, get out of the car and wait for help to arrive. On smaller roads remain in the vehicle.
• Switch on your hazard warning lights if you are causing an obstruction and put a warning triangle behind you but never use a triangle on a motorway.
• Call for help using your mobile phone and give clear details of your location, number of passengers and cause of breakdown.