Driving home for Christmas... Safely.

Compliplus Christmas Driving SafelyWe might all be dreaming of a White Christmas but nobody wants to be broken down by the side of the road with jingle bells playing in the car! When bad weather strikes you should only travel when it’s absolutely necessary and be prepared for the worst. The RSA (www.rsa.ie) is a good source of information about driving in challenging conditions like snow and ice so we’re highlighted some of them here. 

 Motoring Tips in Snow and Ice 

  1. Clear your windows, mirrors and lights before you set out – do not use hot water on the windscreen as it can crack the glass.
  2. Ensure your vehicle is clear of snow including the roof
  3. Have sunglasses in the car. At this time of year, the sun is low in the sky and the reflection from snow can be blinding. 
  4. Visibility may be reduced so don’t hang on to the tail lights of the vehicle in front of you. 
  5. Use your dipped headlights and fog lights if necessary. 
  6. Manoeuvre gently, too much steering is bad.
  7. Slow down and leave extra distance between you and the vehicle in front.
  8. When you slow down, use your brakes gently so that the brake lights warn drivers behind you.
  9. Avoid harsh braking and acceleration
  10. Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Select a low gear when travelling downhill especially if through bends. 
  11. If your car has rear wheel drive the addition of extra weight in the boot will help your wheels to grip.
  12. Be prepared. During severe weather conditions it is advised that motorists carry a number of essentials in the boot of their car. 
        1. High visibility vest
        2. Spare fuel
        3. Appropriate footwear in case you need to leave your vehicle e.g. boots 
        4. A hazard warning triangle 
        5. Spare wheel (Check that your spare wheel is in good condition and is fully inflated. Some cars may have an inflation repair kit instead of a spare wheel. Make sure that you know how to use it.) 
        6. Tow Rope 
        7. A shovel 
        8. De-icing equipment (for glass and door locks)
        9. Spare bulbs 
        10. First aid kit 
        11. A fire extinguisher 
        12. A working torch 
        13. A car blanket, additional clothing & some food and water.
  13. Be careful on compacted snow – it may have turned to ice.
  14. Watch out for black ice especially in sheltered / shaded areas on roads, under trees, under or on bridges and adjacent to high walls If your vehicle begins to skid you should: 

Identify the cause – it is either; too much braking, too much steering, too much acceleration or a combination of these. 

Remove the cause – gently and smoothly.

Avoid over-correction with too much steering, be ready for a secondary skid in the opposite direction.

15. Cars have different braking systems. Check your car manual and find out if your vehicle has safety assist technology such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC) or Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS). Learn how these technologies can assist your driving in harsh weather conditions.

16. Keep up to date. Listen to local weather and traffic reports. Pay heed to the weather warnings alerting drivers of unsafe and dangerous driving conditions. 

17.Check out the RSA’s publication ‘Severe Weather Advice for Road Users’ for more detailed advice on what to do if severe weather strikes!

 Drive safely everyone!

For more info check out http://www.rsa.ie/RSA/Road-Safety/Campaigns/Current-road-safety-campaigns/Severe-Weather-Advice/