First day of Spring? Are you sure? The days are beginning to stretch a little bit but weather seems to be getting colder and colder. With cold weather comes frost and icy roads and this can mean dangerous driving conditions. We’ve put together a few winter driving tips to help you get from A to B safely.
Check the weather the night before you plan to drive. Leave some extra time ahead of your journey to prepare your car. This may mean waking up a little earlier but it’ll be worth it. Check the weather again in the morning…you never know with Irish weather, best to keep up to date.
You may need to de-ice your windscreen. If so, you should do this thoroughly so that your windscreen is fully clear, ensuring maximum visibility on the road. Always keep a scraper and de-icer in your car just in case. You may need it for the way home too!
Check your Tyres
Your tyres are the only thing connecting your car to the ground. This is significant at the best of times but icy conditions only elevate the importance of keeping them in good shape. Legally your tyres should have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm. However for safety it is recommended to have a tread depth of at least 3mm.
Watch your Distance
Slippery roads mean it will take your car longer to stop. Allow extra distance between yourself and the car in front of you to accommodate this.
Watch for Black Ice
Black ice is a major concern at this time of year as it can catch motorists off guard. The best way to deal with it is to keep an eye out for shaded areas by trees or high walls. Be cautious as you approach these areas.
Let Someone Know
If the weather is bad it’s always a good idea to let somebody know when you plan to arrive before you set off. It helps to have somebody who knows where you should be, just in case you get stranded with little or no phone coverage.
It’s important to be well-equipped. Stock up your car with the following items:
- Hi-Vis Jacket or Vest
- Hazard warning triangle
- Spare wheel
- Spare fuel
- Spare bulbs
- De-icing equipment
- First-Aid Kit
- Torch (with spare batteries)
- Spare clothes, and appropriate footwear
- Car blanket
- Food & water
If you do break down you should make sure your car is well clear of the road. Use your hazard lights so other motorists can clearly see you. Leave your vehicle and call the Gardaí to notify them of the situation.
Looking for more wintry tips? Read our blog on how to keep your home warm this winter.