73,000 Breakdowns Expected This Week As Severe Wind And Rain Set To Affect The Uk
11th March 2019
With wet and windy weather set to hit the UK this week, breakdown cover provider Green Flag is predicting 135,000 callouts and 73,000 breakdowns on UK roads between Tuesday and Friday. This amounts to 13 breakdowns per minute over the course of the week.
Forecasters are predicting severe gale and storm force winds on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by strong winds which will continue into the rest of the week across much of the nation. Heavy rain is also set to affect areas of the UK on Tuesday and Wednesday and there is a chance of snowfall in Wales, North West England and Scotland, which combined with windy conditions, may cause dangerous driving conditions.
The depth of the snowfall is expected to be up to five centimetres, with more hilly areas seeing up to and possibly in excess of 10 centimetres.
Lucy Davies, at Green Flag, commented: "Wet and windy weather can cause unsafe driving conditions, so we urge drivers to stay safe when taking to the roads this week. As well as the hazards brought about by rain, wind can also cause flying or falling debris, damage to hinges when opening doors, and difficulty manoeuvring a vehicle through gusts and gales. Drivers should leave plenty of distance between other vehicles, avoid parking under or near trees, take care opening doors, and reduce speeds."
"The additional risk of snowfall means drivers may unexpectedly find themselves in icy or snowy conditions, so it is advisable to keep an eye on local weather forecasts and only drive if necessary."
Green Flag has issued common sense, winter weather and windy weather driving tips, to keep in mind ahead of a journey over the course of the week:
Walk around the car and look for any signs of potential trouble, especially tyres and lights.
Check tyre pressures, spare included.
Check all fluid levels and top up if necessary.
Make sure you have breakdown cover.
Keep a road map in the car so you'll be able to explain where you are when you call for help. Don't rely on the map on your phone - you won't always have signal.
Make sure your phone battery is topped up - think about buying an in-car charger just in case you need it.
Have the number for your emergency breakdown provider handy – you’ll usually find it on your policy certificate so you could keep this in the glove box.
Carry a red warning triangle at all times.
Always keep some water and snacks in the car, in case you get stuck for a long time.
Windy Weather Driving Tips
Reconsider the need to travel: Ask yourself if you really need to drive in these dangerous conditions. Avoiding travel in stormy weather is the safest course of action.
Plan your journey: Plan your route and check for disruption such as road closures or delays.
Hold that door: It’s an obvious but often forgotten piece of advice: When opening a door – especially from the inside – have a firm grip of the door handle and be prepared for the wind to catch it. High winds can cause serious damage to door hinges.
Avoid debris: Try to avoid parking beneath trees or a building’s roof as falling debris could damage your car or other people.
Get a grip: Keep both hands on the steering wheel, especially when faces with strong gusts of wind.
Leave room: Ensure you’re reducing speeds and increasing the distance between you and other traffic. Be wary of high-sided vehicles, motorbikes and cyclists, as they’re particularly vulnerable to the effects of the wind.
Expect the unexpected: When passing gaps between trees or buildings, or when crossing bridges, drivers should expect greater exposure to side winds. When you switch from a windy section to a sheltered area, the sudden loss of winds can be just as unbalancing to a vehicle.
Winter Weather Driving Tips
Make sure all passengers are wearing seat belts.
Check your speed and use gentle driver inputs - even if the roads have been gritted, they’re likely to be slippery.
Give more warning than usual to other drivers - when turning, stopping or changing lane.
Keep plenty of distance between cars - you never know when you'll hit an icy patch. If you pass the same landmarks as the car in front of you within three seconds, you’re following too closely.
Check whether your car has ABS anti-lock brakes. In the unlikely event that it doesn’t, pump the brake pedal slowly to prevent the wheels locking up and skidding.
Be extra-wary of black ice. It’s an invisible danger that can catch out even the most careful driver.
Approach corners at a steady speed, in as low a gear as possible. Don't touch the clutch unless it’s absolutely necessary, steer smoothly and avoid braking on bends.
Ensure you’re familiar with your car’s ventilation system to prevent windows from steaming up. Air conditioning will keep windows free from mist and condensation.
For more information about how to make sure your car is road ready visit www.greenflag.com