DRIVERS have been urged to pack their cars with five winter essentials before hitting the road as Storm Barra hits the UK today.
Storm Barra will no doubt bring with it dangerous road conditions, with slippery black ice increasing the risk of an out-of-control skid and accidents.
The Met Office has warned that snow and rain are set to lash Scotland and northern England in the coming days.
Up to eight inches of snow and 80mph winds have been predicted.
And drivers were issued an urgent ice warning for between Monday at 9pm and Tuesday at 9am.
Motoring experts warn that it is vital to get your car prepared for winter before the worst of the weather hits.
Car insurance provider the AA has shared its essential list of cold journey must-haves – if travel in adverse weather is absolutely essential.
In case of a breakdown, drivers have been told to bring with them a fully-charged phone to call for help.
A flask of hot drink is another must-have to fend off the cold when stationary – while a torch can be used to help see as daylight hours get shorter.
Meanwhile, in case an unfortunate skid sends them off the road, a shovel is needed to make sure drivers can free their cars if stuck in snow.
The insurer also urges drivers to “fully de-ice” their vehicles prior to heading off – including clearing snow from the windows, lights and the roof to help with visibility.
AA spokesman Tony Rich told The Sun: “Before setting off, it’s important to fully de-ice the car which includes clearing snow from the windows, lights and roof so you can see and be seen.
“It’s also worth having winter essentials in the car such as warm, waterproof layers, a shovel, a torch, fully charged mobile phone and a flask of hot drink.
“If you must travel, reduce your speed to account for the conditions and leave plenty of space behind other vehicles.
“Allow extra time, as it’s likely your journey will take longer than usual, and ensure you have plenty of fuel/electric charge if you’re driving an EV (Electric Vehicle).”
Meanwhile, RAC Breakdown spokesman Simon Williams added: “Winter is the most treacherous time of the year for drivers.
“A good set of tyres is essential to keep the best possible grip on the road, but reducing speed to match the conditions is also vital.
“Black ice is probably the most dangerous of all conditions as drivers don’t realise they’re on it until it’s too late. Going into a skid is scary beyond belief.
“While it’s good to know that you should steer into a skid, it’s a lot harder to do it when you need to, particularly if it’s never happened to you before.
“When driving in the snow you should keep your speed down but try to be in the highest gear possible as this helps to reduce wheel spin.”
An urgent ice warning was issued by the Met Office this morning as Storm Barra is set to spread over 1,000 miles.
Last month Storm Arwen slapped Brit roads with chaotic 90mph winds and three inches of snow.
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