MET office weather warnings of sub-zero temperatures and snow suggests travel will be a pretty miserable affair this week.
Currently Bromsgrove, Rubery and South Birmingham is forecast some light snow on Wednesday with more prolonged flurries on Thursday and Friday.
As a result the AA is warning drivers to take extra care and to follow the advice of the emergency services, especially if asked not to attempt to drive unless it’s really necessary to do so.
Vince Crane, AA Patrol of the Year, says: “A well maintained car should cope well with the cold but sub-zero temperatures always bring a big increase in the number of cars that won’t start, thanks to tired batteries.
“Electrical and tyre problems are the top two reasons for members to call for help – and harsh winter weather makes such problems even more likely.”
In severe weather the AA says:
Give yourself time: Allow plenty of extra time for your journey, including time to de-ice the car.
Don’t be tempted to pour hot water over the screen – if has a chip the sudden change in temperature could lead to a crack.
The best way is to use a scraper. And don’t leave your car alone with the engine running, that’s an invitation to thieves.
See and be seen: Make sure the windscreen and windows, as well as headlights and mirrors, are all properly cleared of snow and ice. Push snow from the roof and bonnet too as it will fly off while driving or, if you brake heavily, will slide down your windscreen and block your visibility. Make sure your lights are all working and use them in poor daylight visibility.
Stay topped up: Top up the windscreen wash with a good quality additive to reduce the chance of freezing. Keep at least quarter of a tank of fuel – an accident or closed road up ahead is likely to result in long delays.
Take the essentials: Be prepared for your journey to take much longer than usual and pack 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.
Choose your route: Check your route for accidents or closures before you leave and, if possible, favour roads which have been gritted.
Drive smoothly: Drive to the conditions and leave plenty of space between you and the car in front as stopping distances will be significantly greater. Drive smoothly, keep your speed down and avoid sharp acceleration, braking or cornering as far as possible. If you are starting on a slippery surface select a higher gear and gently let in the clutch. Automatic cars often allow a higher starting gear to be selected or have a ‘winter’ mode.
Keep a grip: Make sure your tyres are properly inflated – contrary to popular belief letting some air out of your tyres does not improve their grip on snow and ice – it has the opposite effect. If the tyre tread is below 3mm then get the tyres replaced as soon as possible – worn tyres are lethal on an icy surface.