Fallen Leaves are quite common place in Ireland. If they are wet after a rain shower it can be like driving on Ice. Your tyres will have little grip if you need to stop quickly so please note and be aware.
Frost and Icy Conditions.
Make sure your tyres have a decent amount of thread. Go to a garage and have them checked if unsure. Test the roads by walking out and try and slide on it so as to get a sense of the road conditions. If you reside in a housing estate the roads are usually more frosty\icy because the sun cannot get to them. You will find the main roads are a lot more accessible.
De-frosting your windows.
Get a container and fill with warm water. You should be able to comfortably put your hand into the water. Not too cold or not too hot. Pour over all your windows.
Cyclists and Pedestrians.
At the best of times it can be very difficult to see either a Cyclist or a Pedestrian at lighting up hours or in the evening. They see themselves quite clearly so Cyclists and Pedestrians will assume they are visible to everyone else. They are not. You need to actively lookout for them and indicate in good time when you are overtaking so as to inform other road users of their presence.
Making sure you can see out and....
* Ensure your windscreen and all windows are clear and un-obstructed
* Ensure your wipers and washers are working
* Your washer bottle is topped up
* All lights and indicators are clean and working properly
* You have a windscreen scraper and de-icer canister.
* Carry hot water in a hot water bottle, you can add cold water to it to de-ice.
* Make sure your tyres have the correct tread depth. 1.6mm is the legal minimum but to
cope with snow and ice it is advisable to have 6mm.
* Ensure your Car Battery is fully charged. Cold, wintry mornings can kill any battery.
At the beginning of winter you should:
• Keep as much fuel in your tank as possible. Winter weather can cause substantial
delays. Running out of fuel whilst stuck in traffic can be unpleasant and dangerous.
• Listen for weather reports a day before you intend to travel. If you drive into bad
weather listen to the local radio station for up-to-date weather news.
Snow and ice covered roads can make driving almost impossible.
If you find yourself in such conditions follow these guidelines.
• Move off gently in second gear using as little revs as possible. This will help avoid wheel spin.
When accelerating do so gently.
• When steering, turn the wheel gently and progressively. Never turn the wheel abruptly as this can
cause you to skid and lose control.
• Reduce your speed and avoid sudden braking, brake progressively. Whenever possible use your
engine brake by changing down into lower gears.(2nd)
• When driving through a bend, reduce your speed on the approach, try and maintain a constant speed and a smooth line through the bend. As you drive out of the bend, you can increase the power. If it's slippery, leave accelerating until your car has straightened up.
• Increase the gap between you and the vehicle in front. With snow and ice on the road stopping
distances can increase 10 fold.
• Apply WD-40 (a spray release fluid) to your door locks, as this will prevent them from freezing up.
• Keep your car in a high gear (2nd or even 3rd) as this will help prevent wheel spin.
• Try and keep moving, even at a crawl, as moving off from a stop requires much more road grip.
If you get stuck in snow.
* If you get stuck in snow don't keep trying to spin the wheels in an attempt to gain grip,
as this will only dig you in deeper.
* Move snow away from the wheels using whatever you have to hand - even if it is only your hands.
* If you have sand, gravel or grit put it in the path of the wheels to help the tyres gain grip
* Turn your wheels from side to side several times to help push the snow out of the way.
* Use a lower gear
* Accelerate gently - the slower the better, as this will allow the tyres to take more grip.
Driving In Fog
Fog can be very dense and sometimes it may be better and wiser to wait for it to pass.
• Reduce your speed.
• Turn on your dipped lights.
• If visibility is less than 100mtrs, turn on your fog lights.
• You may need to turn on your wipers.
• Brake early and gently so that your lights warn other drivers of your presence.
• Drive so that you can always stop in the distance that you can see to be clear in front of you.
• Wind down your window and listen out for traffic at junctions.
• Stay alert. Other drivers may fail to use their Fog lights or reduce their speed. Fog can be quite patchy going
from a light mist to a thick cloud in a matter of metres.