Winter weather can be a hazard over the festive break, so the IAM (Irish Advanced Motorists ) are urging drivers to be extra cautious as they take to the road to visit their loved ones across the country.
The IAM advice is simple: plan your trip, allow extra time for your journey and build in 20-minute breaks at least every two hours, let someone know your travel route and expected arrival time, check travel advice from weather forecasters and the emergency services before you set out, don’t drive when you would normally be asleep, ensure you have enough windscreen washer fluid in the dispenser and wiper blades are not torn or worn, check that all your lights are clean and working correctly, including the fog lights.
Tyres are crucial, the legal limit is 1.6mm but below 2mm grip is reduced. Check water/coolant (anti-freeze ) and oil levels to prevent over-heating and engine failure. Pack an emergency kit with blankets, de-icer, a torch, first aid kit, warning triangle, water and a fully charged mobile phone.
When packing your car don’t put luggage or presents on the rear parcel shelf. They will obscure your vision of the road behind you and turn into dangerous projectiles if you have to brake sharply. Avoid having loose items in the vehicle: the last thing you need is a broken present after all the shops are shut.