Temperatures have dropped below zero, and much of Kent, London, and Essex remain snowbound. The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for ice, which has blanketed nearly the entire country.
The warning will be in effect from 3 a.m. on Sunday, December 18, until 2 p.m. on the same day. Although gritters have been deployed this week, some roads remain icy, with the added dangers of black ice, snow, and ground frost. National Highways has provided its top tips for safely arriving home before Christmas Day.
Drivers are encouraged to pack a winter kit with essential supplies in case of inclement weather. Water, de-icer, food, warm clothes, an ice scraper, a fully charged phone and car charger, a torch, blankets, boots, a snow shovel, and sunglasses to protect against the winter sun should all be included in the kit.
And, once you’ve hit the road on the journey home, National Highways says motorists should be cautious, as “it can take 10 times longer to stop in icy conditions”. So, drivers should slow down and try not to brake suddenly, as “it may lock up your wheels and you could skid further”.
Other winter driving tips from National Highways include: gently accelerate with low revs; use a high gear to help avoid wheel spin; stick to main roads where possible; and be cautious at road junctions where markings may be obscured.
“In preparation for winter, keeping a kit of essential items like a torch and warm clothes in your vehicle can be vital in case you and your passengers become stranded,” said Dale Hipkiss, National Network Manager at National Highways. Freezing temperatures bring a slew of hazards, such as snow and ice, so plan ahead of time and allow plenty of extra time when travelling to account for the unexpected.