How to stay safe on

winter roads

Winter driving

ROAD safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist is urging motorists to postpone journeys, as bitterly cold temperatures and heavy snow are predicted for the coming days.

The whole of the country should expect temperatures to plummet this week with the arrival of a wintry storm from the north, known as the ‘Troll of Trondheim'.

GEM is advising drivers to minimise risks if they need to care for vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours.

Forecasters have warned that the whole of the UK should be ready for several days of winter conditions.

GEM warns that the cold snap is likely to increase pressure on breakdown organisations, with battery faults the most likely cause of difficulty for drivers.

GEM chief executive Neil Worth said: "The advice is to be prepared. Get your battery and antifreeze checked to minimise the risk of trouble. Check tyres, lights, windscreen and wipers. Postpone a journey if necessary - even a trip you may regard as essential.

"By doing so you will be avoiding a lot of potential trouble for yourself, and ensuring you don't put additional strain on emergency and recovery crews, who are likely to be at full stretch in the coming days."

Here are GEM's tips for staying safe on the roads in the next few days:

1. Don't drive if you don't really need to. If you have to make a road journey, ensure your car is properly equipped for the likely conditions.

2. Listen for weather updates, and plan your travel accordingly.

3. Prepare a set of essential items, including a shovel, fully charged mobile phone, torch, ice scraper food, water, jump leads, first aid kit, warm clothes and a supply of sand or gravel to assist with grip if your wheels are spinning.

4. Keep your speeds down, leave plenty of space between yourself and the vehicle in front, don't overtake gritter trucks, and be ready for sudden, rapid deteriorations in conditions.

5. Remember that driving in winter conditions can be hard work, so ensure you build in breaks on your journeys.

6. Make sure you have an active breakdown policy so should the worse happen you know you can be rescued wherever you might be.

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