As the Summer driving season officially kicks off this bank holiday weekend, the AA is reminding motorists not to create their own “Mayday” situation by running out of fuel on the motorway or setting off without giving their vehicle the once over first.
Over the Easter weekend, AA Patrols attended several motorists who found themselves in the highly vulnerable situation of being broken down on a motorway hard shoulder as a result of completely running out of fuel. Of the 1271 breakdown AA Patrols attended during the Holy Thursday and Easter Monday period, as many as 200 were caused by human error or inattention to vehicle maintenance the AA reports. The AA also reveals that in the region of 15% of its annual break down calls outs fall into the category of “self inflicted.”
“Mistakes such as accidentally locking the keys in the car or using the wrong fuel type can happen to the best of us and are something our Patrols attend to every day.” Says Conor Faughnan, Director of Policy, AA Ireland. “However other human error type breakdowns can be avoided and our advice to motorists this bank holiday weekend is to give your car a quick inspection before you hit the road and make sure you’ve plenty of fuel in your tank.”
With the prevalence of potholes, the AA is particularly reminding motorists to inspect their tyres before they start their journeys. Both AA Patrols and AA Car Servicing technicians have seen high volumes of vehicles presenting with worrying levels of tyre wear and tear since the beginning of 2011. During 2010, the AA estimates that it attended a total of 14,800 punctures that were specifically linked to damaged, overly worn, incorrectly inflated or ill fitted tyres.
“Chances are your tyres have taken a fair few knocks and bumps lately thanks to the current condition of our road surfaces so it’s really important for safety and fuel economy reasons to check all four tyres before loading up the car this bank holiday weekend.” Says Faughnan.
To help motorists prepare for their bank holiday road trips, the AA offers the following advice:
AA’s Bank Holiday Check List:
- Make sure your brake, clutch and power steering fluids, oil, and coolant levels are up to the mark before you leave (refer to the handbook if in any doubt).
- Clean your windscreen, windows and mirrors before you leave. Fill the windscreen-washer bottle using a screen wash additive to help clear traffic film and dead insects.
- If you’re battery is overdue for replacement or showing signs it might be about to fail don’t leave it to chance. Have a new one fitted before you leave. However if you do get stuck, AA Battery Assist can fit and replace a new battery on the roadside.
- Check and adjust your tyre pressures as required. If you’re planning on carry extra weight such a roof rack or extra luggage you should adjust your tyre pressure accordingly. The correct pressures will be given in the car’s handbook.
- You should also make sure that the load you’re carrying is balanced.
- Make sure your roof rack is securely fastened and that everything is properly tied down.
- Pay a visit to the petrol station before you leave.
- Don’t forget your AA Membership card. With AA Membership motorists are covered for every eventuality of breakdown, self generated or otherwise. (Details of AA May Day Membership offer below)
- Get a good night’s sleep before embarking on longer drives.
AA Membership is currently running a special offer of 50% off its Rescue Plus package offering roadside assistance plus a replacement car for up to 48 hours, free overnight accommodation for up to 5 people and refund on alternative transport for up to €200. To avail of this special promotion which ends 06th May or read more on AA Member’s discounts motorists can visit www.aaireland.ie
Other benefits exclusively enjoyed by AA Members are discounts on AA Home Insurance, AA Motor Insurance, AA Car Servicing, AA Travel Insurance and free AA Travel Insurance when travelling anywhere in Ireland or the UK. Plus they can benefit from great value deals on accommodation, tourist attractions, retail outlets and more.