RE YOU 'WINTER READY'?
Now is a good time to check how prepared you are for winter weather conditions.
There is lots of good advice on www.winterready.ie
This is a list of emergency equipment to have in your car:
• High Visibility vest
• A hazard warning triangle
• A torch with batteries – check it regularly
• A tow rope
• A shovel
• Jump leads
• A fuel canister
• De-icing equipment (both for glass and door locks)
• A first aid kit
• Appropriate clothing and footwear in case you have to leave your vehicle
• A car blanket, additional clothing and some food & water (for long journeys)
• Have a charged mobile phone; an in-car charger is highly recommended
• A fire extinguisher
• Consider carrying some salt or sand
With regard to driving, here are a few points to help ensure your vehicle is winter ready:
Is Your Vehicle Winter-Ready?:
• Lights – Make sure all of your indicators and headlamps are clean and working
• 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.
• 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.
• Check for wear and tear on wiper blades and replace them as soon as they start to smear rather than clean windows.
• Make sure all of the vehicle lights are working and clean.
Motoring tips in snow and ice:
• Clear ALL your windows, mirrors and lights before you set out – do not use hot water on the windscreen as it can crack glass.
• Ensure your vehicle is clear of snow including the roof.
• Have sunglasses in the car.
• Visibility may be reduced. However, do not hang on to the tail lights of the vehicle in front of you.
• Use your dipped headlights and fog lights.
• Maneuver gently, too much steering is a bad idea.
• Slow down and leave extra distance between you and the vehicle in front.
• When you slow down, use your brakes gently so that the brake lights warn drivers behind you.
• Avoid harsh braking and acceleration
• Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Select a low gear when travelling downhill, especially through bends.
• If your car has rear wheel drive, the addition of extra weight in the boot will help your wheels to grip.
• Watch out for black ice, especially in sheltered/shaded areas on roads, under trees, under or on bridges and adjacent to high walls.
Finally, don’t ever leave your car unattended in the morning with the engine running to defrost. Cars have been stolen in such circumstances.