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School half term: beware of car trouble

PROBLEM: Green Flag is warning drivers to be wary when travelling on UK roads

WHILE MANY families across the country are preparing to hit the roads to make the most of the February half term, national breakdown cover provider Green Flag, is warning drivers to be wary when travelling on UK roads. New data predicts that a staggering 11 breakdowns every minute are expected to occur over the school break.

With weather conditions set to worsen coupled with an influx of cars on the roads, Green Flag is urging motorists to ensure their car is road-ready before heading to their holiday destination.

With the remnants of snow and ice on the roads 13,444 drivers are set to experience issues with their tyres, while 2,178 drivers will experience issues with their breaking systems and a further 233 will be delayed thanks to faults with their windscreen wipers.

A further 29,522 motorists will fall foul of flat or faulty batteries and 6,844 drivers are set to face issues with their engine.

Simon Henrick, head of news at Green Flag, said: "Being the first half term break of the year, people across the country will be hitting the roads, hoping to take advantage of their well earned time off to enjoy trips with family and friends. As a result, the roads will be extremely busy and a high number of breakdowns are predicted to occur.

"In the aftermath of the coldest week of the year, a large proportion of these breakdowns are likely to be weather related. As the temperature continues to plummet and with it, more ice and snow on the road, it's important that drivers make sure their vehicles are in tip top condition before taking to the roads."

Green Flag has released the data in the hope that it will encourage drivers to check their cars before they travel, and to give families the best chance of reaching their destination with as few complications as possible.

Tips to help motorists avoid any potential issues:

1. Walk around the car and look for any signs of potential trouble, especially tyres and lights

2. Check tyre pressures, spare included

3. Check all fluid levels and top up if necessary

4. Make sure you have breakdown cover. If you’re travelling abroad, make sure your cover extends to your trip away. If it doesn’t, you may need to arrange separate cover

5. Keep a road map in the car so you’ll be able to explain where you are when you call for help. Don’t rely on the map on your phone – you won’t always have signal

6. Keep some coins or a phone card in the car in case you need to call for help and there’s no mobile phone signal

7. Make sure your phone battery is topped up – think about buying an in-car charger just in case you need it

8. Have the number for your emergency breakdown provider handy – you’ll usually find it on your policy certificate so you could keep this in the glove box

9. Carry a red warning triangle at all times

10. Always keep some warm clothes, a rug and some chocolate in the car in case you get stuck in cold conditions for a long time

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