Are you equipped for emergencies when driving in snow and ice?

Freezing winds from Scandinavia and Siberia are forecast to keep spring at bay and hold Ireland in an icy grip for at least seven days. So, be ready and make sure you are prepared to drive safely in snow and ice with the following checklist:

Slow down - leave plenty of room between vehicles.

• Check your tyre treads and pressure to ensure that you have good grip for driving in snow, ice, and black ice. Be sure to include the spare in your check. While the minimum legal limit is 1.6mm, a minimum tread of 3mm is advised for driving in snow and ice. If you are unsure have your tyres checked by one of our dealership technicians. Our tyre check service is free of charge.

Lights – Ensure that all your indicators and headlamps are working and clean.

Liquids – Ensure that the water reservoir is up to the maximum mark and mixed correctly with anti-freeze.

Oil - Check your dipstick and top up the oil if required. Check for leakages on the ground under the vehicle.

Electrics - Check your dashboard before and after starting the engine. Listen for a weak battery and replace if required.

Emergency Equipment Checklist - Be prepared for emergencies and where possible have the following in the boot of your car: Hazard warning triangle, torch with batteries, high visibility vest (available from RSA), tow rope, shovel, jump leads, fuel canister, spare fuses and bulbs, de-icing equipment, and some simple supplies to sustain yourself (e.g., energy bars).

• Check the RSA or the AA Roadwatch website Visit Met Eireann at for a five-day forecast and for up to the minute reporting.

Don’t forget we cannot foresee all eventualities, so do consider whether you really have to travel by car… You could of course consider putting off your trip until the weather and road conditions improve, or use public transport where available.