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GEM warns motorists as a week of winter weather threatens

GEM warns motorists as a week of winter weather threatens

ROAD SAFETY AND breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is urging motorists to postpone journeys, as bitterly cold temperatures and heavy snow are predicted for the coming week.

GEM is also advising drivers to minimise risks if they need to care for vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours.

A cold weather alert is in place for the whole nation through until Wednesday 10 February.

Even as motorists continue to heed the ‘stay home’ requirements of the current national lockdowns, GEM warns that pressure on breakdown organisations is likely to increase. This is because infrequent car use means more batteries are at risk of failing in the low temperatures. 

GEM chief executive Neil Worth says: “In extreme conditions such as those many of us are experiencing currently, the advice is not to travel. Postpone a journey if you possibly can – even a trip you may regard as essential.

“By doing so you will be avoiding a lot of potential trouble for yourself, and ensuring you don’t put additional strain on emergency and recovery crews, who will be at full stretch in the coming days, even with significantly reduced traffic volumes.

“We understand that you may need to look out for those classed as most vulnerable during the current lockdown, but please don’t put yourself at risk by driving in snow and ice. After all, if you get stuck, you will be of no help to the people you were trying to support, and you may well end up needed emergency assistance yourself.”

Stay safe
GEM is once again encouraging drivers to make good use of some simple safety tips in order to reduce the chance of risk, delay and difficulty.

Don’t drive if you don’t really need to. If you have to make a road journey, ensure your car is properly equipped for the likely conditions.

Listen for weather updates, and plan your travel accordingly.

Prepare a set of essential items, including shovel, fully charged mobile phone, torch, ice scraper, food, water, jump leads, first aid kit, warm clothes and a supply of sand or gravel to assist with grip if your wheels are spinning.

Keep your speeds down, leave plenty of space between yourself and the vehicle in front, don’t overtake snowploughs and gritter trucks, and be ready for sudden, rapid deteriorations in conditions.

Remember that driving in winter conditions can be hard work, so ensure you build in breaks on your journeys.

Take a look at the GEM e-Book on winter driving. It’s available for download free of charge from

Follow GEM on Twitter @motoringassist for the latest industry news.

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