110,000 breakdowns expected this week as Sheffield braces itself for big freeze

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More than 110,000 cars are expected to break down on Britain's road this week, as motorists struggle with Arctic conditions.

Green Flag expects snowy and icy conditions blown in by a weather system dubbed the 'Beast from the East' to cause chaos on the nation's roads this week.

One breakdown is expected every five seconds this week (photo: Chris Lawton)

One breakdown is expected every five seconds this week (photo: Chris Lawton)

The recovery service predicts there will be one breakdown every five seconds somewhere in the UK, and it has issued the following safety advice to motorists.

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Simon Henrick, the company's head of news, said: "The return of the cold weather and difficult road conditions may take some drivers by surprise this week. Although we're heading towards spring, the cold weather isn't gone yet - so it's important that drivers do all they can to stay safe.

"By thoroughly checking their cars before they leave home, and approaching the roads with caution, drivers will decrease the risk of encountering a problem on the roads this week."

Its safety tips are:

Check your speed and use gentle driver inputs - even if the roads have been gritted they’re likely to be slippery

Give more warning than usual to other drivers - when turning, stopping or changing lane

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Keep plenty of distance between cars - you never know when you'll hit an icy patch. If you pass the same landmarks as the car in front of you within three seconds, you’re following too closely

Check whether your car has ABS anti-lock brakes. In the unlikely event that it doesn’t, pump the brake pedal slowly to prevent the wheels locking up and skidding

Be extra-wary of black ice. It’s an invisible danger that can catch out even the most careful driver

Approach corners at a steady speed, in as low a gear as possible. Don't touch the clutch unless it’s absolutely necessary, steer smoothly and avoid braking on bends

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Make sure all passengers are wearing seat belts

Ensure you’re familiar with your car’s ventilation system to prevent windows from steaming up. Air conditioning will keep windows free from mist and condensation

Highways England has also urged drivers across the UK to check the weather forecast and road conditions before setting out tomorrow, and to take extra care if they do have to travel.

In a warning issued this afternoon, it said: "Road users are advised to take extra care when travelling in snowy conditions: allow plenty of extra time to complete your journey and consider whether your journey is absolutely necessary before setting out, by first checking the very latest forecast and road conditions."