It is important to check the air pressure of your tyres (including the spare) regularly. This will aid safety, as well as reduce fuel consumption and increase the life of your tyres.

Tyre pressure should be checked when the tyres are cold (stationary for at least three hours); do not use tyres which have been repaired or retread as they cannot be operated safely at high speeds.

Check engine oil, coolant, brake and washer fluid levels regularly.

Ensure all weekly checks recommended in the owner's handbook have been performed.

Ensure there are no vehicle warning and reminder indicator lights on.

Ensure that your vehicle is serviced regularly. This will aid safety; prolong the life of your car and save you money in the long run.

Before towing, check:

  • wiring, lights and towing hitch;
  • tyres and pressures (trailer tyre pressures should be higher than car tyres - around 40 PSI);
  • there is sufficient weight on the tow ball (this reduces sway).

Share the driving on long trips. Avoid driving at a time when you would normally be sleeping. Power naps are a great idea - if tired or fatigued pull over and sleep for 15 to 20 minutes. If you can share the driving with a passenger do so (change drivers every 1.5 to two hours).

Leave a minimum two second gap between your vehicle and the one in front of you. This equates to approximately eight car lengths when travelling at 60 km per hour, 12 car lengths at 80 km per hour and 16 car lengths at 100 km per hour. If towing, driving a four wheel drive or if it’s raining you may require up to a four second gap to be safe.

  • The back seat is the safest place for children of any age. Where possible install the child restraint in the centre rear position.
  • Where legally allowable, you may install a forward facing child seat in the front seat (without a side impact airbag), but always move the passenger seat as far back as possible.
  • Don’t use a child restraint that has been subject to crash forces. The protective structure could be invisibly damaged.
  • Fit child restraints properly. Follow instructions and make sure the capsule or child seat is firmly fitted, with minimal sideways or forward movement on the car seat.
  • Every trip, make sure that the child restraint harness is properly adjusted, checking that only the thickness of two fingers can be inserted between the harness and the child's chest.

Never eat, drink or use a phone while driving even if you are sitting in traffic.

If you need to take or make a call or you are hungry or thirsty, find a safe place to stop first.

  • Never admit liability at the scene of an accident.
  • Obtain the name address and insurance details and registration number of any party or vehicle involved.
  • If the incident involves injury to any person or animal you must inform the Gardai as soon as practicably possible and in any case with 24 hours. In the event of a minor material damage claim there is no requirement to obtain immediate Garda Attendance and the carriageway should not remain obstructed.
  • If you have a camera or a camera phone take photographs of the position of any vehicles involved in the incident, any damage done and other relevant.
  • Write down all details of what happened including details of any injuries or damage as soon as possible afterwards while they are fresh in your memory.
  • If possible obtain details of witnesses.

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