RAC patrol of the year Ben Aldous said: “We are expecting next week’s protracted period of sub-zero temperatures to lead to a sharp rise in the number of breakdowns and ‘bumps’ as those who have to drive struggle with very hazardous conditions.
“As patrols, we are well equipped to deal with the severe cold, but we urge drivers to think extremely carefully before setting out and question whether their journey is absolutely necessary.
“For anyone who has to drive, we’d strongly advise making sure their vehicle is ready for the cold. This means checking oil, coolant and screenwash levels, as well ensuring the tyres have plenty of tread and are inflated properly.
“And never attempt to use the windscreen wipers to clear an icy or snowy windscreen – you risk damaging not on the wipers but the linkages too, which is likely to become a more costly job for a garage. Large amounts of snow on vehicles should be cleared before setting off to avoid it falling on to other road users.
“And with the extreme cold wreaking havoc with weaker car batteries many may not actually get going at all.”