MOTORISTS have been warned to be extra careful and take no risks on the roads as Ireland braces itself for polar conditions with temperatures forecast to drop as low as -5C.
Leading roadside assistance providers, Allianz Global Assistance Ireland, is urging drivers to take some basic steps to keep safe with treacherous road conditions expected during the freezing spell.
Roland Hesse, managing director, Allianz Global Assistance Ireland, says the company expects an increase in call outs over the next few days with a status yellow warning due to come into effect at 6 p.m. today, (Wednesday), and to last until Saturday.
Falls of sleet and snow are being forecast by Met Eireann, with heaviest snow fall most likely over Ulster, Connaught, north Leinster and west Munster, especially on high ground.
“The main thing is for motorists to give themselves plenty of time if they have to undertake a journey. Slow down and don’t rush,” according to Hesse.
"Drivers should also ensure they have adequate breakdown assistance cover. Check your insurance policy to see exactly what you are covered for.”
Allianz Global Assistance Ireland advise drivers to follow these ten top tips.
1. Slow down! Leave earlier for work or school. That extra ten or fifteen minutes can make all the difference.
2. Don’t make sudden manoeuvres. Be gentle with braking, accelerating and steering.
3. Leave extra distance between you and the vehicle in front, in case of sudden braking.
4. Have snow tyres fitted. They are not just for snow, they are effective once the temperatures fall below seven degrees.
5. Be prepared for delays. Keep the fuel tank topped up.
6. Make sure you have your vehicle serviced, that the anti-freeze is topped up, and the battery is in good condition.
7. Keep a warm jacket and a blanket in the car.
8. Make sure you have jump leads and other essentials in your boot in case of a breakdown including a high visibility vest, boots/wellingtons, de-icing equipment and a hazard warning triangle.
9. 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 so make sure that you know how to use it.
10.Ensure you have adequate breakdown cover.