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ROAD SAFETY AND breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is urging motorists to take extra care as winter weather is predicted in the next few days.

Road journeys are more difficult and treacherous when there is a fall of snow. GEM is encouraging drivers to make good use of some simple safety tips in order to reduce the chance of risk, delay and difficulty – and to avoid putting additional strain on the emergency services and breakdown providers who are likely to be at full stretch in winter weather.

  • Don’t drive if you don’t really need to. The easiest way to avoid trouble from winter conditions is not to venture out in the car.
  • If you do have to make a road journey, then please ensure your car is properly equipped for the likely conditions. That’s because if you do experience a breakdown, you will most likely have to wait longer until help arrives.
  • If bad weather threatens, or has already arrived, then postpone your journey and eliminate the risk of becoming stuck somewhere.
  • 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, give room to 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

GEM road safety officer Neil Worth says: “Have a plan ready now that can help you postpone that journey you’re expecting to make. Agree to reschedule a meeting or a visit if it’s not vital. In that way, you’re avoiding a lot of potential trouble for yourself, and ensuring you won’t be putting additional strain on emergency and recovery crews, who are sure to be at full stretch in the coming days.

“If you’re out and about when snow hits, then the simple preparation measures suggested above really can make a big difference to help keep you safe.”

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