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Is Your Vehicle Winter-Ready?

You should get your car serviced before winter sets in to make sure it is ready for the conditions which will undoubtedly arrive when least expected! There are some things you can do yourself:

  • Lights - Make sure all your indicators and headlamps are clean and working
  • Liquids - Make sure the water reservoir is up to the maximum mark and correctly mixed with anti-freeze. You may also need to top up your coolant and screen wash
  • Oil - Check your dipstick and top up the oil if necessary. Look for signs of leakages on the ground under the car
  • Electrics - Check your dashboard before and after starting the en-gine. Listen for a weak battery and replace if necessary
  • Windscreen wipers - you should clean them regularly and replace them every 12 months
  • Tyres - Check your tyre treads and pressure, including the spare. While the minimum legal limit is 1.6mm, a minimum tread of 3mm is advised for winter driving
  • Safety Assist - Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual and find out if it has any safety assist technology e.g. ABS

 

Be Prepared - Emergency equipment to have in your car 

  • High Visibility Vest 
  • A hazard warning triangle 
  • A torch with batteries - check it monthly 
  • Tow rope 
  • A shovel 
  • Jump Leads 
  • A Fuel Canister 
  • Spare fuses and bulbs 
  • De-icing equipment (Both for glass and door locks) 
  • First aid kit 
  • A Map or GPS (Charged) 
  • Appropriate clothing and footwear in case you have to leave your vehicle 
  • Have a charged mobile phone 
  • Some simple supplies to sustain yourself (drink and food) 

Planning a journey in winter 

Do you really have to travel by car? You could: 
  • Consider delaying your trip until the weather and road conditions improve 
  • Use public transport where available 

If you really have to travel by road, be prepared for severe conditions 
  • Ensure your vehicle has a more than adequate supply of fuel for the journey. If possible keep your fuel tank full in winter 
  • Check your emergency equipment 
  • Allow extra time and drive with caution. Let someone know your route and when you expect to arrive 

  • Check to see if there are any problems on your intended route be-fore you leave. Information is available from the National Roads Authority, (NRA) website www.nratraffic.ie and you can follow them on Twitter @NRATraffic. You can register with the NRA to receive email alerts for a chosen journey, and there is also an NRA app avail-able to registered users 
  • You could also check the AA Roadwatch website www.aaroadwatch.ie or follow them on Twitter @aaroadwatch. Listen to TV or radio bulletins and check the weather forecast. Re-member that the best road conditions are likely to occur between 10am and 4pm 
  • If you do not know your route, and are using SatNav/GPS, be sure it does not bring you over a dangerous route, such as across mountainous terrain or along narrow back-roads, which may be hazardous due to snow and ice. e.g. Sally Gap, Co Wicklow or Barnesmore Gap, Co Donegal. Do not rely totally on a SatNav/GPS, look at your route on a map

Driving in hazardous conditions 
  • Remember the following serious hazards: 
  • Snow and ice will always be worse in mountainous areas and higher ground – try to route around such places. There is information about road conditions and road temperatures on www.nratraffic.ie  
  • Beware of high sided vehicles in strong winds, particularly when over-taking. If you are driving a high sided vehicle try to anticipate exposed sections of roadway where winds will be stronger 
  • Beware of fallen trees or other debris 
  • Leaving your vehicle is dangerous, wear a high visibility jacket and use your hazard lights to enable other traffic to avoid collision with your vehicle. However, on a motorway, it is safer to get out of your car and stand behind the safety barrier. Call for assistance immediately

 


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LoCall 1890-252736 or 0761 001 608 | email oep@defence.ie