RAC yesterday attended a RECORD number of vehicle breakdowns


RAC yesterday attended a RECORD number of breakdowns in a single day due to ‘worst-ever winter cocktail’ of treacherous conditions and poorly-maintained cars

  • RAC patrols attended some 12k breakdowns on Monday – the highest in one day
  • It worked out at an average of 8 callouts per minute in the company’s busiest day
  • It blamed snowfall, sub-zero temperatures and the impact of cost-of-living crisis

The RAC has confirmed that it attended more breakdowns yesterday than any other single day in its 120-year history of coming to the aid of stricken motorists.

On Monday, its patrols were called out to around 12,000 drivers who had encountered problems with their vehicles, which works out at an average of more than eight per minute.

The breakdown assistance provider blamed a ‘worst-ever winter cocktail’ of sub-zero temperatures, snow and ice and rise in the number of motorists who haven’t been able to afford to maintain their vehicles due to the cost-of-living crunch.

Record breakdown callouts for a single day: The RAC has confirmed that Monday was its busiest day ever for patrols attending stricken motorists

Record breakdown callouts for a single day: The RAC has confirmed that Monday was its busiest day ever for patrols attending stricken motorists

The motoring group, which was founded in 1897 but only introduced its first uniformed patrols in 1901 and roadside emergency telephone boxes in 1912, said Monday was its busiest day ever recorded for its patrols.

While RAC Motoring Services as we currently know it was set up in 1998, yesterday’s activity was busier than all other years.

Monday officially eclipsed the previous record number of callouts it received in 2018 when the ‘Beast from the East’ hit between February and March that year.

Rod Dennis, the RAC’s breakdown spokesman, said: ‘We believe two key ingredients have combined to create the worst-ever winter breakdown cocktail – a sustained period of cold weather with an absence of widespread snow that would otherwise keep people indoors, and a big rise in the number of drivers who can’t afford to maintain their vehicles as we well as they’d like to due to the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis.’

On Monday, RAC patrols were called out to around 12,000 drivers who had encountered problems with their vehicles, which works out at an average of more than eight per minute

On Monday, RAC patrols were called out to around 12,000 drivers who had encountered problems with their vehicles, which works out at an average of more than eight per minute

The breakdown assistance provider blamed a 'worst-ever winter cocktail' of sub-zero temperatures, snow and ice and rise in the number of motorists who haven't been able to afford to maintain their vehicles due to the cost-of-living crunch

The breakdown assistance provider blamed a ‘worst-ever winter cocktail’ of sub-zero temperatures, snow and ice and rise in the number of motorists who haven’t been able to afford to maintain their vehicles due to the cost-of-living crunch

With the big squeeze on people’s finances in recent months, various studies have warned that a large proportion of drivers have been – or will be – forced to delay or cancel their car’s annual service in a bid to save money.

The latest poll of more than 2,000 drivers in Britain found that a third (32 per cent) are likely or very likely to skip their vehicle’s service in the next 12 months.

This could result in over 10million motors on the road not being checked over by mechanic for months, meaning they will be more susceptible to breakdowns. 

Third of drivers to save money by avoiding car maintenance: A recent investigation has added to concerns that there could be an increasing number of dangerous vehicles on our roads over the next 12 months

Third of drivers to save money by avoiding car maintenance: A recent investigation has added to concerns that there could be an increasing number of dangerous vehicles on our roads over the next 12 months

The latest poll of more than 2,000 drivers in Britain has found that a third (32%) are likely or very likely to skip their vehicle's service in the next year

The latest poll of more than 2,000 drivers in Britain has found that a third (32%) are likely or very likely to skip their vehicle’s service in the next year

Mr Dennis said there has been little let-up today in terms of the volume of requests for help from stricken motorists, with its breakdown patrols still experiencing huge demand. 

The Met Office has issued a yellow snow and ice warning covering northern Scotland and north-east England from midnight on Tuesday until noon on Thursday.

Top 10 tips for driving safely in snow and ice 

 

Heavy snowfall in recent days has sparked severe weather warnings, flight delays and plenty of drivers facing chaos on everything from rural routes to major motorways.

With icy temperatures predicted for the coming days, snow is likely to stick around, too.

To help you prepare for taking to snow-covered roads safely, here’s our top 10 tips for essential checks, items to carry and how to drive in these difficult conditions.

There is also an ice warning covering much of the South East, including London and Brighton until 11am on Tuesday.

‘Today remains an incredibly demanding day for our patrols, with the rail strikes likely to force yet more people onto the roads,’ he added.

And he warned that there could be an extension to the chaos on the road over the coming days as sub-zero temperatures remain and more commuters rely on their vehicles while rail strikes continue throughout the week.

‘Hazardous road conditions are continuing this week following another major refreeze overnight. 

‘Those who have to use more rural roads that haven’t been gritted will need to exercise great care, delay or even abandon their plans. 

‘Before setting out, allow some more time to de-ice and de-mist your vehicle thoroughly. We urge drivers who have to make essential journeys to leave extra space behind the vehicle in front, reduce their speeds to give plenty of time to stop.

‘Anyone still wondering if it’s worthwhile carrying an emergency winter pack with them should imagine how it must have felt for drivers stuck on the M25 for eight hours yesterday. 

‘Carrying warm clothing layers – including a waterproof jacket – as well as a blanket, sturdy footwear, a flask of hot drink and power bank to keep phones charged are all extremely important.’

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