The Royal Automobile Club (RAC) has released its "RAC patrol tips for winter driving" which will not only prove valuable for drivers within the UK, but also for skiers heading out to the Alps this winter.

With the recent heavy snowfalls across the UK, calls to the RAC peaked at the beginning of the month with 3500 call-outs in one hour.

The RAC says cars not starting remains the biggest breakdown problem and while there's sometimes not much you can do about a flat battery you can rectify other minor problems yourself.

A frozen door lock/handle: this can be fixed with the help of luke warn water (not hot) to defrost the area or spray with a de-icer. The same can be used for frozen wipers, frozen washers, or a frozen door (warm water/de-icer around the door edge).

Getting stuck on ice: firstly, make sure your parking brake is on, as once free the car can move on its own. If you're at home, use salt or gravel to help grip. If this isn't available, place a car mat in front of the slipping whell to provide traction to move the vehicle. Use a low engine speed and keep wheel spin to a minimum.

Always stay a good distance behind the vehicle in front if you're driving in traffic as stopping distances will be extended. To achieve grip in snow or ice, wheels need to be kept turning, not locked by braking.

More information on the RAC and's Winter Driving Guide