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
Notes to Editors
For all media enquiries, please contact the RAC press team on +44 (0)1454 664 123. The line is manned by an on-call press officer outside office hours. ISDN radio studio facilities are available for interviews Monday to Friday.
About the RAC
First formed in 1897, the RAC has been looking after the needs of its members and championing the interests of drivers for more than 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 drivers 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 – is one of a kind and 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. It provides a comprehensive guide to the latest UK unleaded petrol and diesel prices – both at the wholesale level and at the pump - and tracks these prices daily to help drivers check if the price they pay to fill up is a fair one.