North East Connected

RAC warns of more snow and ice and a growing risk of potholes

RAC patrols look set to help over 9,000 motorists today as snow and ice make driving conditions hazardous:

RAC spokesman Pete Williams said: “We are experiencing higher breakdown volumes than expected with callouts up by 15-20% compared with seasonal norms. We look on track to attend over 9,000 members today.

“It’s busiest in the Midlands, Eastern England, the North, South West, Kent and South London with snow and ice making driving hazardous for many.

“Our patrols are rescuing members who have run into difficulty in the treacherous driving conditions resulting in some minor accidents.

“We are also seeing a significant increase in vehicles with pothole related damage – so punctures, wheel damage, steering and suspension problems. The toxic combination of high water levels, ice and snow is causing many road surfaces to crumble causing potholes to open up.

“Our patrols attended a dozen vehicles alone on the M25 where a large pothole opened up yesterday causing  punctures, damage  wheel damage and big delays for many motorists.

“Flat and exhausted batteries are another major cause of breakdown or simply non-start for many as the icy and damp conditions play havoc with vehicle’s electrics. Many drivers who haven’t used their car for several days over Christmas are finding that it doesn’t have the power to turn over the engine and they are left stuck on the drive or in the street. These batteries can be jump-started but many will be simply too tired or old with limited reserve capacity and simply cannot hold charge for long.

“With more snow forecast and plummeting temperatures we expect the hazardous driving conditions will get worse tonight with a high risk of black ice.

“Those planning on a return journey from their Christmas break should check local weather reports, leave extra time for their journey and pack a ‘winter travel’ kit in case they breakdown with additional warm clothing, snacks and hot drinks, a fully charged mobile and a shovel.

“If possible use main roads where they have been well gritted and if you are travelling on the motorway in areas with heavy snow bear in mind that the hard shoulder is unlikely to be gritted so avoid driving on to it unless essential.

“Five minutes spent checking these winter driving tips and advice would be time well spent and may save the stress and inconvenience of a breakdown or worse still and an accident.”

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