The RAC is issuing a warning to drivers to brace themselves for a bout of wintry weather arriving from tomorrow (Friday), with the number of incidents attended by its orange patrols this coming weekend expected to be up significantly on what is normal for early December.
Call-outs on Sunday 10 December, when the worst of the weather is predicted, are expected to be up nearly 9% on what is usually anticipated at this time of year with the RAC planning for around 7,200 breakdowns – which equates to five vehicles needing rescuing every minute. Anticipated breakdowns on Saturday and into the early part of next week are also due to be up on the seasonal norm but by a smaller percentage.
Between Friday and end of Monday, the RAC is expecting to attend in the region of 33,000 breakdowns in total compared to the 29,000 that are normal for the second weekend of December:
|Friday 8 December||8,500 breakdowns – 1.3% up on the seasonal norm|
|Saturday 9 December||7,400 breakdowns – 2% up on the seasonal norm|
|Sunday 10 December||7,200 breakdowns – 8.7% up on the seasonal norm|
|Monday 11 December||10,000 breakdowns – 3.6% up on the seasonal norm|
The RAC has published a comprehensive guide to driving in wintry conditions and is recommending drivers check over their vehicle before setting out to cut the likelihood of them breaking down in the cold and wet. It is also reminding drivers to ‘slow down, make space, and move on’ past other breakdowns to help guarantee the safety of roadside workers who will be operating in very cold and difficult conditions. A campaign was launched last week to raise awareness of the risks that roadside workers subject themselves to following a spate of accidents in 2017 involving RAC patrols and its contractors.
RAC director of roadside operations James Knight said: “The end of this week and into the weekend will see an arctic blast sweep across the country, with snow for many of us, but our roadside patrols are well prepared and will be working around the clock to assist our members who find themselves in difficult situations.
“There is a lot drivers can do right now to be prepared for the wintry conditions which can drastically reduce the chances of them breaking down in the cold. This includes checking the condition of their car’s tyres – snow and ice mean grip is more important than ever – as well as making sure windscreen wipers and all lights are functioning properly to ensure they have a clear view of the road ahead. Having enough screenwash is also vital to clearing the windscreen of dirt and grit.
“As it is going to be cold everywhere, we also recommend motorists put together a kit that can help keep themselves and their passengers safe and comfortable if they are unlucky enough to have their car fail on them. This should include some spare warm clothes and blankets, food and drink, high visibility jackets, a first aid kit, a torch and spare batteries. Also make sure that mobile phones for all occupants are fully charged so you can easily call for help if you need to.
“The message to drivers when out on the road over the next few day is to stay safe. Build in more time for your journey and think twice before driving longer distances if the journey isn’t really essential. Before you set out, thoroughly clear your windscreen and roof of snow and ice, make sure the windscreen is completely demisted, and switch on your headlights.
“We are also calling on drivers to take particular care when they are passing breakdown patrols and other roadside workers. Following an accident involving an RAC member and a patrol on the M4 at the end of last month, we are asking everyone to slow down, make space and move on past any incidents they come across to safeguard roadside workers who are literally putting their lives at risk to get motorists out of difficult situations.”
For more tips and advice on getting ready for winter on the road, visit www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/winter-driving.
Notes to Editors
For all media enquiries, please contact the RAC press office team on +44 (0)1454 664 123. The line is manned by an on-call press officer outside office hours.
Our press team can:
- Answer all RAC-related media enquiries
- Provide comment on all topical UK motoring stories
- Provide motoring research and data to inform debate
- Give motoring advice for broadcast or publication
- Arrange interviews with RAC spokespeople - ISDN radio studio facilities available
You can also follow the RAC press office on Twitter: twitter.com/RACPress
About the RAC
First formed in 1897 the RAC has been looking after the needs of its members and championing the interests of motorists for 120 years.
Today it has more than eight million members and is one of the UK’s most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistance, insurance, buying a used car, vehicle inspections and checks, legal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information – the RAC offers a solution for all motoring needs. The RAC is committed to making motoring easier, safer, more affordable and more enjoyable for drivers and road users.
The RAC is the motorist’s champion and campaigns to support the interests of its members and UK motorists at a national level. This includes voicing concerns about the increasing cost of motoring, particularly the price of fuel and the high level of tax levied on it, advancing levels of road safety, and supporting the needs of all drivers, from young to old.
The RAC’s annual Report on Motoring – first published in 1989 – provides a clear insight into the concerns and issues facing today’s motorists.
For the very latest news on UK fuel prices, check RAC Fuel Watch or follow #racfuelwatch on Twitter. RAC Fuel Watch is a comprehensive guide to the latest UK unleaded petrol and diesel prices – both at the wholesale level and at the pump. RAC Fuel Watch analyses how prices changed through the previous month and compares the most recent prices with those from three, six and 12 months before.
- RAC patrols fix four out of five vehicles at the roadside and on average within 30 minutes
- RAC vans carry more than 500 parts and tools to get members’ vehicles going again
- 92% of members would recommend RAC Rescue to their friends and family