Motorists are being advised to drive with extra caution over the St. Patrick’s weekend, as Met Eireann has warned of a low risk of snow in parts of the east and south-east.
While any expected snowfall is expected to be relatively minor, combined with route disruptions because of festivals and a higher risk of drink-driving, AA Ireland is urging all motorists to take extra precautions on any journeys they intend to make over the weekend. Motorists can keep up to date with diversions as a result of festivals and any routes affected by weather conditions by visiting the AA Roadwatch Newsroom.
“Met Eireann have stressed that any snowfall we see this weekend will be minor in comparison to what we saw during Storm Emma, but it’s still something that road users will need to be aware of. Given the weekend that’s in it you’re likely to see more people taking longer journeys as they enjoy a weekend away, more kids on the roads as they attend festivals and, unfortunately, a greater risk of drink-drivers on the road,” Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs warned. “All these conditions combined could make this weekend a particularly dangerous one for all road users, particularly cyclists and pedestrians, so it’s important that we all take the necessary precautions to keep our roads safe.”
“Snowy roads aren’t something we’re used to seeing on St. Patrick’s Day but it is something that may make an appearance this year. However, even if we dodge the snow we will almost certainly see an increase in drink-drivers as, for a minority of motorists, this behaviour somehow becomes more acceptable on a Bank Holiday weekend. By all means enjoy the extra day off, if you’re a sporting fan then hopefully enjoy what could be a great moment for Irish rugby on Saturday, but if you’re drinking please don’t get into your car and drive home.”
In advance of the cold weekend, AA Rescue, the insurance intermediary’s breakdown assistance team, will be making additional resources available across the country as an increase in car breakdowns is expected.
“We know that more breakdowns occur over a bank holiday weekend, in part because of people travelling greater distances, and separately we know that more breakdowns occur in cold weather as older or weaker batteries often struggle to start. This coming weekend is going to present a combination of both these factors so our AA Rescue team are expecting to be busy,” Faughnan added. “If you’re planning a trip away this weekend then we recommend giving your car a quick once over before you leave, including checking your tyres and oil levels, to help reduce your breakdown risk. Meanwhile, if the plan is to leave the car at home all weekend just be mindful that if your battery is nearing the end of its shelf-life your car may take a little longer to start on Tuesday if you’re living in a region affected by snow and cold weather.