Following a major spike in calls to AA Rescue on Friday 22nd March when stormy conditions and heavy rainfall gripped the country, the AA is calling on drivers to give their vehicles the once over ahead of the Easter Exodus which is set to kick off this Thursday.
With more cold weather forecast over the coming days, AA Rescue says it’s gearing up for a busier than usual Easter weekend with the majority of motorist set to take to the roads on Good Friday. Last year AA Patrols attended more than 1,200 stranded motorists over the course of the Easter weekend a figure they expect to surpass this year if the cold weather persists.
“When the weather becomes more extreme, be it flooding or bitter temperatures, we’ll always see an increase in breakdowns.” Says Lar Byrne, AA Patrol of the Year. “We’ve made sure to put extra resources in place this weekend in anticipation of the increase in traffic volumes and cold weather.”
Clearly demonstrating the link between weather and car troubles, the AA reports that it saw a 43% increase in breakdowns last Friday alone compared to the same date in 2012. On the day there was an even more noticeable spike in Cork with AA Patrols attending 77% more call outs than on the same date last year.
Anxious to see motorists avoid the inconvenience of weather related breakdowns this weekend, Lar Byrne has this advice for motorists. “When conditions are poor, it’s particularly important to check your car is ready to take to the roads. Check the thread depth and pressure of your tyres. Make sure your windscreen and your wipers are clean and be mindful that your battery will be forced to work harder when it’s cold.”
“Before setting out on your journey, it’s also important to de-ice your vehicle and clear off any snow even if it’s just a light dusting and remember the golden rule – slow down as stopping distances are up to ten times longer in ice and snow.”
A particular problem last week, Lar also offers the following advice when it comes to reacting to flood water: “Last Friday during the floods, I helped two motorists stuck in floodwater in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow. Most roads in the area were flooded and in some parts the water was knee-deep. The best advice I can give is; only drive through water if you know it’s not too deep for your car. If you think it’s safe to do so, drive slowly through the water and use a low gear to keep your revs high.”