Green Flag says recovery organisations could face 12 callouts per minute.

Thousands of breakdowns were expected to occur across the UK this week as wintry weather systems sweep through the country. Roadside recovery firm Green Flag says tricky conditions will cause around 121 breakdowns over the week – the equivalent of 12 per minute.

In a bid to reduce the number of drivers left stranded in the cold, the company is urging drivers to ensure they check their cars are roadworthy before setting off.

Suggestions from the roadside recovery firm include a number of checks to make before you set off. The company's safety experts recommend assessing the condition, tread and pressure of tyres, checking windscreen wiper blades, topping up washer fluid and ensuring that lights work correctly, as well as packing some essential items such as a torch, shovel, ice scraper and warm clothing.

The company also suggests carrying a carpet or some thick cardboard to use for traction if the vehicle becomes stuck in snow.

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Green Flag’s Simon Henrick said drivers’ should be prepared for ‘challenging’ weather and should adapt their driving styles to take poor conditions into account. He recommends using gentle control inputs, increasing separation distances and taking corners steadily while being extra vigilant for any black ice that might be on the road.

‘After a variable and relatively mild winter period, the changing weather conditions may take some drivers by surprise this week, so it's important that drivers do all they can to stay safe in the more challenging conditions,’ he said.

‘By thoroughly checking their cars before leaving home, approaching the roads with caution and keeping plenty of distance between cars drivers will decrease the risk of encountering a problem while on the roads this week.’