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RAC: Call-outs surge as snow, ice and cold hit motorists

Press release -

RAC: Call-outs surge as snow, ice and cold hit motorists

RAC has had an exceptionally busy Sunday morning, already attending thousands of callouts due to the snow and cold weather.

RAC reports it is busiest in central England, with Stoke, Derby and the West Midlands the worst affected areas.

Callout volumes as at 12:00pm were up by more than a third and are largely due to flat batteries and non-starts, as the cold grips the country and causes widespread travel disruption. Driving conditions in many parts of the country remain treacherous caused by ice and snow.

Motorists travelling today are advised to check local weather reports and traffic conditions as the bad weather spreads across to other parts of the UK. Southern Scotland and Eastern England from the Borders south to the East Midlands are set to be hit with a fresh blanket of snow.

RAC's fleet of 4 x 4 vehicles are helping drivers stuck 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: “This weekend has been extraordinarily difficult for many motorists as the cold and ice have made driving difficult and dangerous. With more bad weather forecast, the Monday morning commute is already looking very, very busy. Workers who travel by car may want to consider other options, such as working from home or another form of transport.”

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
  • Be prepared: 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.

If you would like up to the minute information on the roads, interview a patrol or have someone in studio, please contact the RAC press office: Vicki Burn 01603 684224/07800 692909; Adrian Tink 07800 690602; Erik Nelson 01603 682264/07989 427086

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Notes to EditorsOur dedicated line for journalists is +44 (0)1454 664 123. Please note: the press office is unable to help with individual customer enquiries - please visit the RAC contacts page for the right number to call.ISDN radio studio facilities are available for interviews Monday to Friday.About the RACThe RAC provides complete peace of mind to 12m UK private and business drivers, whatever their motoring needs. Its services include:
Breakdown assistance. Its highly-skilled, 1,600-strong branded patrol workforce attends more than two million breakdowns every year, fixing on average four out of five vehicles at the roadside. The RAC’s patrol fleet is one of the most advanced in the world, and was the first to roll out both an All-Wheels-Up recovery system, allowing the vast majority of vehicles to be recovered from a single patrol van, and EV Boost mobile electric vehicle charging units
Insurance. The RAC is a top-five car insurance broker having surpassed the 500,000 policies-in-force milestone in 2018. It also offers ‘black box’ telematics policies, as well as home and travel insurance
Other motoring services. The RAC leads in the development of new solutions for business, fleets, electric vehicles and future car technology. Its additional products and services include a personal loans offering, a used car buying website, vehicle inspections and checks, legal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information. It also has a network of Approved Dealers and Approved Garages which combine the trust of RAC brand with local service and convenience
The RAC also works to support the interests of its members and UK drivers on the most important motoring issues which it identifies via the annual RAC Report on Motoring and the RAC Opinion Panel. The Report on Motoring is the longest running analysis of driver opinion in the UK having been published every year since 1989.For more information about the RAC, visit the RAC website.

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