Red weather warning: Motorists warned against driving early next week

Too hot to drive? RAC urges motorists to ‘think carefully’ before getting behind the wheel on ‘hottest day in history’ as they warn of 20% surge in breakdowns and dangers of MELTING roads

  • The Met Office has issued an unprecedented red temperature weather warning
  • Experts fear temperatures could hit a record level of 106F early next week 
  • The RAC has warned drivers against taking to the roads during the hot spell
  • If travelling, motorists are advised to carry an emergency kit in case of trouble 

Motorists have been warned against driving on Monday and Tuesday as the country braces itself for the hottest day ever in recorded history with the Met Office predicting temperatures of 106F or 41C. 

The RAC said they are expecting a major surge in breakdowns as cars overheat in the extreme weather conditions. 

Drivers are advised if they must use their cars they should ensure that all fluids are at their correct levels and carry an emergency kit in case of breakdown. 

Rod Dennis, the RAC’s breakdown spokesman said: ‘If temperatures were to go as high as around 40c as some are predicting, then people should question their decision to drive in the first place.’ 

The unprecedented Met Office red weather warning states there is an 80 per cent chance of temperatures beating the current record of 101.7F set in 2019 in Cambridge. 

Motorists have been advised against travelling on Monday and Tuesday after the Met Office issued an unprecedented red weather warning for extreme temperatures

If a journey is necessary, drivers have been urged to check fluid levels before setting off to reduce the chance of overheating. Also, people are advised to carry an emergency kit with non-perishable food, an umbrella, sun screen and water

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said there is a 50 per cent chance of temperatures reaching 40C somewhere in the UK, likely along the A1 corridor 

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said there is a 50 per cent chance of temperatures reaching 40C somewhere in the UK, likely along the A1 corridor.

The UK Health Security Agency has increased its heat health warning from level three to level four – a ‘national emergency’.

Level four is reached ‘when a heatwave is so severe and/or prolonged that its effects extend outside the health and social care system…. At this level, illness and death may occur among the fit and healthy, and not just in high-risk groups’, it said.

RAC Breakdown spokesperson Rod Dennis said: ‘With a rare red weather warning for extreme heat in force there’s now every possibility a large than normal number of drivers will suffer breakdowns over the next few days. We anticipate there could be around 15-20 per cent more breakdowns on Monday and Tuesday, which equates to more than 1,000 extra people needing help each day.

‘Such a large increase in people needing assistance is bound to put pressure on all breakdown services, so it’s essential drivers have an emergency kit with them to keep as safe as possible while they wait for help – ideally in a safe location in the shade. Carrying plenty of water, some non-perishable food, emergency medication if needed and a means of blocking out the sun – hats and an umbrella – are all important, as is a having a fully charged phone to be able to contact their breakdown provider or the emergency services if necessary.

‘Our teams will be working tirelessly to rescue drivers who break down, but there is a lot drivers can do to avoid breaking down in the first place. This starts with checking the coolant and oil levels under the bonnet when the engine is cold. Oil should be topped up if it’s low, and if coolant isn’t between the ‘min’ and ‘max’ levels then drivers should top it up – or take it to a reputable garage to get it checked without delay.

‘National emergency’: The UK Health Security Agency issued a Level Four heat-health alert today covering the whole of England for both days, which warns: ‘Illness and death may occur among the fit and healthy, and not just in high-risk groups’

‘Drivers in vehicles without effective air conditioning should consider delaying any non-essential journeys by car over the next few days until temperatures begin to fall and the Met Office’s weather warning no longer applies, or use the car during the coolest parts of the day. This is particularly important advice for vulnerable people, including the very young and elderly, for whom the extremely high temperatures pose a clear health risk. We also want to remind drivers never to leave pets in a hot car, which can prove fatal.

‘At these sorts of temperatures, melting roads are also likely – with blacker patches of tarmac being the most obvious sign. Drivers therefore shouldn’t be surprised to see some gritting trucks out, as spreading a fine granite dust can help improve vehicle grip on softening road surfaces. Drivers also shouldn’t be alarmed if they see water underneath their vehicles, which is normally just condensation coming from the air conditioning unit.’

England’s chief medical officer, Professor Sir Chris Whitty, asked people on Twitter to look out for each other.

He said: ‘The Met Office has issued an extreme heat warning for next week.

‘Please remember the signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke especially for older and medically vulnerable people.

‘Early intervention to cool people down and rehydrate them can be lifesaving.

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