RAC chief operations director James Knight said: “With widespread snow now forecast, our teams are gearing up for an extremely busy 24 to 48 hours. As of 1pm today, we have already dealt with an average of six breakdowns a minute and our roadside patrols are working extremely hard to attend stricken drivers and get them moving again.
“We are keeping a very close eye on the changing weather conditions, and particularly around the rush hour this evening when snowfall looks likely to coincide with many people driving home after work. Conditions are likely to turn to treacherous as rain rapidly turns to sleet and snow, and motorists need to adjust their driving style accordingly. We recommend everyone reduces their speed significantly and introduces a much bigger gap between their vehicle and the next one in front.
“We strongly recommend drivers check local weather forecasts before setting out as some disruption through tonight and into tomorrow looks likely – it might well make sense to delay or cancel a journey by road if it isn’t absolutely essential. Anyone that does set out must ensure they are properly equipped, having packed an emergency kit in case they break down. Spare warm clothes, food and drink and a charged-up mobile phone power pack are all a must.
“There is also a lot every driver can do that can mean breaking down is much less likely. Checking things like oil and coolant levels, and ensuring tyres have plenty of grip and are inflated properly, takes moments but could make the difference between a relatively smooth journey and one disrupted by a very unwelcome breakdown.”
The RAC website carries a full series of guides to driving in wintry conditions.