Winter Driving Tips for Frost, Ice and Snow in Ireland

1. Check the weather forecast in advance, weekly and especially at night before you go to bed. Also just before you go to bed, go out and touch the Car to see if there is Frost at night. That way you will know if there was a thaw or possibility of Black Ice if Freeze, Rain , Freeze happened during the night . Good websites are www.aa.ie www.donegalweatherchannel.ie and www.donegaldaily.ie

2.Set your Alarm to Get up 30 minutes early in the morning . 10 minutes early to demist your Car and 20 minutes extra Travelling Time for you Journey.

Decide if your Journey is essential. Look at Traffic Travelling on your Road, or rather lack of travelling on the Road if the Road is very bad. Also log onto www.donegalcoco.ie and you can look at cameras on particular routes.

If in doubt, don’t go out !

3. Have De-icer , Ice Scraper , Screen wash, MicroFibre Cloths , Salt , small Shovel , soft brush at your ready at the Front Door. Purchase a Box to keep all your Winter Driving Accessories in and buy them in bulk when they are on offer, or ask your brother, boyfriend etc to gift them to you instead of Chocolates or Wine ( these are Calorie Free !!!! )

5. Have Warm Clothes at the Ready, ie at the Back Door/ Front Door , in the Hot Press or even better place them on the Radiator , so they are warm when you get up in the morning …… Rain Coat, or warm jacket with a hood, woolly Hat , Scarf, Gloves and if possible Boots with a good Grip in the frost or Snow.

6. Check your Vehicle is Winter Ready . Has it been serviced recently for Oil, Engine Coolant, has the Battery been Checked ? Do you have Spare Bulbs in the Car. Clean the Headlights and Tail Lights before you head off on your Journey. Check all 4 Tyres around October/ November, most garages will offer a Free Tyre Check this time of year, also check your spare Tyre. Check for Thread Depth, Air Pressure, Visually inspect the tyre for defects and if necessary get a Second opinion at the Local Tyre Centre. If possible purchase ALL Season tyres, for maximum grip , wear and braking in all weather types. Top up the Air weekly in Cool weather as the lower temperatures cause the Air Pressure in tyres to go down.

7. Have your Car serviced, especially the Battery, Oil , Coolant , Lights , Air Conditioning working correctly. Start your vehicle at least 10 minutes before you head off on your journey, that is if you are not living in Dublin and it could be gone after you have had your brekkie !!!! As soon as you have started your car, check the Temperature gauge on your Dashboard. If the Air temperature is 4 degrees Celsius or less, the road could be freezing. If you don’t have a temperature gauge, check on the second vehicle if possible. If you have 2 vehicles at home, and only one partner needs to travel ; take the cheaper vehicle or vehicle that is most suited to the Winter driving conditions, ensure Insurance, Tax and NCT are all up to date . Larger vehicles, with Rear wheel drive are less responsive in frost and Snow. Smaller vehicles with smaller wheels have better grip in the frost and snow and also have Front Wheel drive. If you are lucky enough to own a 4 wheel drive Jeep, drive this.

8. Ensure that you are Competent to drive in the Conditions . If you are a Novice driver , have a qualified driver sit on with you, or if very nervous, allow the more experienced driver to drive and learn from them how to listen to the road, leave a longer separation distance from the vehicle in Front. Drive with Dipped headlights on for visibility. Listen to the radio tuned into a local station for any roads that are impassable or a Road Traffic Accident. Stay on the major roads if possible and there is more of a chance that they will have been gritted. In extreme Fog ,keep a further seperation distance, have dipped lights plus Front and Rear Foglights on.

9. Have a good breakfast , and if possible take a flask of coffee or Tea and a Snack with you incase you do Breakdown. Have your mobile phone with you and ensure that it is fully charged or bring your Phone Charger with you. Ring ahead if possible to talk to somebody that is travelling the same Road as you, or maybe is coming from the destination that you are Travelling, so that you can share information. Within reason drive at the speed that other traffic is travelling at , or just slightly slower and always travel at a speed that you know you can STOP the car safely in the Distance you can see ahead to be Clear. Before you commence your Journey ensure you have plenty fuel. Stop at the Petrol Station early on if necessary to Top Up. Bring money and or Cards with you to purchase fuel or necessities of required.

10. Mindset. This is the most Important part of your Winter accessory . Be competent but not Cocky or Aggressive, Respect other Road users that are not as experienced in Poor Weather Conditions as you may be. Do Not get involved in ROAD RAGE ! If other drivers want to OVERTAKE YOU DANGEROUSLY , THEN BE AWARE OF THEM AND JUST LET THEM GO……

Remember what your mother used to say; Slow and Steady wins the Race !

Through practice, patience and professionalism; you will gain vital skills to carry over from one Winter to the Next .

Stay safe and arrive alive.

For any Driving Related queries please call or text Angela on 087 3748464 , Check out my newly launched Website www.awardmotoring.com and or email me on info@awardmotoring.com

 

 

2 Responses to “Winter Driving Tips for Frost, Ice and Snow in Ireland

  • Great tips, Angela. Good to have all of these in a list to remind me to get ready for winter driving. Thank you!

    • Angela Ward
      1 year ago

      It’s the time of year for it now unfortunately Elaine. The last few mornings were quite frosty here in Donegal Town , Friday morning was the worst; even the footpaths in Town were treacherous .Stay Safe !

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