TOP 10 SAFETY TIPS’ FOR DRIVING IN SNOW AND ICE

08 January 2021

Met Eireann have issued a yellow weather warning for low temperatures and ice, temperatures are due to fall to minus 7 on Friday 08th of January. We urge all customers to take extra precautions on the Irish roads as the big freeze has resulted in treacherous conditions on the roads. Following on from the Government announcement on 6th January, our Aftersales departments are deemed an essential service and continue to operate as normal. For any servicing related queries please contact our servicing teams today.

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TOP TIPS ON DRIVING SAFELY IN SNOW



Make sure you can see. Clear your windows and mirrors before you set out, carry a screen scraper and de-icer. Do not use hot water on the windscreen as it can crack the glass. Replace windshield wiper blades if necessary. De-mist the inside of your windows thoroughly. Make sure your windshield washer system works and is full of an anti-icing fluid. Remember too that heavy snowfall will reduce visibility! Watch out for grit/salt spreaders and snow ploughs. The glare from the sun can be dazzling in the winter when the sun is low in the sky, so wear sunglasses in these conditions. 

Get a grip. Remember your only contact with the road surface is your tyres so it’s vital that they are up to the task in icy and snowy conditions. Check tyres, including spare wheel, and replace them if the tread depth falls below 3mm. Check that tyres are inflated to the correct tyre pressure. Lack of grip can occur even on treated roads so drive slowly in the highest gear possible, manoeuvre gently and avoid harsh braking. Replace tyres if necessary. ​Find out more about your tyre limits here:

Know your limits! When it comes to your tyres.



8mm your tyre is 0% worn --------> Safe

7mm your tyre is 15% worn --------> Safe

6mm your tyre is 31% worn --------> Safe

5mm your tyre is 47% worn --------> Some Risk

4mm your tyre is 62% worn --------> Some Risk

3mm your tyre is 78% worn --------> Severe Risk

2mm your tyre is 94% worn --------> Dangerous

1.6mm your tyre is 100% worn --------> Legal Limit



Give yourself a brake. If you get into a skid, you need to know if your vehicle has ABS (Anti- Lock Braking Systems). After you "Step" on the brake the ABS begins cycling — you will feel pulses in the pedal or hear the system working. It's easy to properly use antilock brakes: Remember - Step, Stay and Steer. Step on the pedal. Stay on the pedal. Steer around the obstacle. (A warning: A little bit of steering goes a very long way in an emergency). For vehicles without ABS, you'll have to rely on the old-fashioned ‘Cadence Braking’ system: Push the brake pedal until the wheels stop rolling, then immediately release the brake enough to allow the wheels to begin turning again. Repeat this sequence rapidly. Your goal is to have the tyres producing maximum grip regardless of whether the surface is snow or ice. 

Watch out for "black ice." If the road looks polished or glossy it could be, "black ice” one of winter's worst hazards: Black Ice is difficult to see! It is nearly transparent ice that often looks like a harmless puddle or is overlooked entirely. Watch out for black ice, especially in sheltered / shaded areas on roads, under trees and adjacent to high walls. 

Check & use your lights. Use your dipped headlights so that others will see you. Make sure your headlights and taillights are all in working order, replace broken bulbs. Make sure lights are clear of snow. 

Gently does it. Manoeuvre gently, slow down and leave extra distance between you and the vehicle in front. Too much steering is bad and avoid harsh braking and acceleration. Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Select a low gear when travelling downhill especially if through bends. Falling snow, fog, rain, or hail will reduces visibility. Do not hang on to the tail lights of the vehicle in front of you as it can give a false sense of security. When you slow down, use your brakes so that the brake lights warn drivers behind you.

How does your vehicle help? Check in your owner’s manual and find out if your vehicle has any safety assist technology like Electronic Stability Control (ESC) or Anti Lock Braking System (ABS) and know how they assist your driving in severe weather conditions. If you have a question, contact your sales executive for more information about your vehicle.

Get informed. Listen to local weather and traffic reports. Or keep up to date with the latest weather updates online Met Eireann. Also carry a winter survival kit, including a high-vis jacket and reflective warning triangles.

According to Met Eireann, temperatures will plummet to between -2 and -8 degrees Celsius, with fog forming in some areas.


Sources ; RSA , Met Eireann.