Weather and travel update

How to weather the storm

Blustery showers and ‘thundersnow’ creating hazardous driving conditions

12 January 2017

With harsh winter weather threatening to bring hazardous driving conditions across the UK, the AA is issuing advice to help drivers navigate the roads safely.

John Snowling, AA Patrol of the Year, says: “Regular car maintenance will help to prevent a winter breakdown, but conditions on the road can still be challenging when the bad weather hits. Check local traffic and weather reports before travelling and only drive in severe weather if it is essential.”

Snow gritting

Coping with the cold

John Snowling’s top winter driving tips:

  • Allow plenty of extra time for winter driving, including time to de-ice the car, even if it means getting up ten minutes earlier.
  • Make sure your windscreen and windows, as well as headlights and mirrors, are all properly cleared of snow and ice. 
  • Make sure your lights are all working and keep at least quarter of a tank of fuel - an accident or closed road ahead is likely to result in long delays. 
  • Expect your journey to take longer and pack the essentials including warm and waterproof layers and dry, sturdy footwear, high energy refreshments and a flask of hot drink or water, a torch, extra screen wash, any personal medication in case of long delays, a fully-charged mobile (with the AA app pre-loaded) and an atlas or sat-nav in case of diversions.

Check local traffic and weather reports before travelling and only drive in severe weather if it is essential
John Snowling, AA Patrol of the Year


Ice rink

Rain followed by freezing temperatures can turn the roads into an ice rink, so check your route for accidents or closures before you leave and, if possible, favour roads which have been gritted.

Drive to the conditions and leave plenty of space between you and the car in front to account for increased stopping distances. Drive smoothly, keep your speed down and avoid sharp acceleration, braking or cornering as far as possible.

Specialist 4x4s and extra people

In preparation for the forecasted severe weather, the AA has mobilised a number of additional resources to assist members who get caught out in the cold, including specialist 4x4 vehicles to help members stuck in snow.

Olly Kunc, Operations Director, says: “We have additional skilled call operators on standby who can be called upon throughout the period of expected high demand.

“Our 3,000-strong patrol force is also ready for severe weather. We have a fully prepared and tested plan with a large amount of flexibility which allows us to ensure that help can be provided where it's most needed. However, at peak times it could take longer than usual for our patrols to attend, especially if the roads are affected by long delays due to snow and ice.”

Our 3,000-strong patrol force is also ready for severe weather
Olly Kunc, Operations Director



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