As the ‘Beast from the East’ hits the UK, here’s how to drive carefully in the wintry conditions
Temperatures this week are expected to drop as low as those experienced inside the Arctic Circle, as the ‘Beast from the East’ hits the UK.
This week could see one of the coldest spells the UK has experienced in five years say forecasters, with heavy snow predicted for later in the week, so drivers are being urged, if they have to travel, to take extra precautions on the roads to stay safe.
Motorists up and down the country are being warned that they should only travel if it’s really necessary. According to traffic officers, there’s already been reports of crashes related to the changing weather conditions in parts of the country, as freezing cold temperatures, snow and blizzards travel in from Russia.
A Met Office spokesman has warned that delays could be possible on the roads and some vehicles and passengers could end up being stranded. Delays are also likely to occur on the rail networks and some flights could be cancelled due to bad weather.
“There is a good chance that some rural communities could become cut off. Power cuts are likely and other services, such as mobile phones, may be affected,” added the Met Office spokesman.
When the snow falls and you simply have no choice but to use your car for a journey, make sure you clear ALL of the snow from your vehicle BEFORE setting off. This means clearing it from the roof, windows, number plates, lights and mirrors – clear visibility is vital in poor weather conditions.
Travel slowly, leave a generous space between you and the vehicle in front and look up the road far ahead so that you have plenty of time to react if necessary. Stay alert and be aware that black ice could be on the roads and break ahead on corners to avoid skidding.
Check your tyres, as worn ones will mean less grip on the roads and if travel is unavoidable and a regular occurrence, then consider purchasing some winter tyres.
Carry a winter emergency kit in your vehicle just in case – this should include blankets or sleeping bags, snacks, bottles of water, mobile phone charger, scraper, de-icer, shovel, rope or a tow chain, road atlas, hi-vis clothing, first aid kit, sand or cat litter, torch and batteries, extra screenwash and make sure you wrap up warm with hats, scarves and gloves etc..
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