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Keep those wheels on the road

White93 via Flickr.

White93 via Flickr.

Recent icy conditions have us reconsidering our commute, but Lidl’s ‘Motor Magic’ special offers could make life on the road a little easier at this time of year.

This Thursday, 15 January, Lidl has launched motor accessories to keep drivers safely driving on the roads. If you’re unprepared for frosty conditions check out its accessories which include a car battery charger for €19.99, headlight bulbs for €5.99, a rechargeable torch for €19.99 and a car charger with jump start function for €49.99.

There are plenty of free ways you can improve your own safety on the road, and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) have some useful advice when driving in wet, windy and flooded conditions:

  • Before you set out on journeys, always check the weather forecast. Sites like accuweather.com provide a handy free service. In addition, consult the Twitter feeds of services like Dublin City’s LiveDrive or the AA – they will have relevant information on road closures, crashes and journey times.
  • If there’s snow or sleet on your car, remove it all before you set off – if you have to brake hard this could slide down your windscreen and drastically decrease visiblity.
  • Slow down to allow yourself more time to react, and maintain a longer distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Keep an eye on other vehicles during windy times – crosswinds can effect motorcyclists and larger vehicles in particular.
  • When driving behind lorries in wet weather, be mindful that they can produce spray that can greatly reduce your visibility, particularly when it’s dark.
  • Be aware of the dangers of aquaplaning, and check your tyres to ensure sufficient tread depth.
  • If roads are flooded, find an alternative route – this may take longer and delay you, but less so than if you attempt to drive through a seemingly shallow flooded path only to discover it’s a lot deeper than you thought.
  • In snowy conditions, use a higher gear to avoid wheel spin. Switch to lower gears when travelling downhill or around bends.
  • Watch out for black ice, particularly in shaded areas. One possible warning sign of black ice is a decrease in tyre noise.
  • Keep an eye out for debris like broken branches, downed wires or loose earth.
  • Always keep emergency items in your boot, like warm, waterproof clothing, a torch, emergency triangle, a fire extinguisher and spare bulbs.
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