Motorists should give their cars a once over before driving home for Christmas, a Fine Gael TD has said.
With Covid travel restrictions within the country ending tomorrow, Deputy Neale Richmond cautioned many cars may not have been driven for long journeys for quite some time and a quick safety check should be carried out before travelling.
Deputy Richmond said: “As we look forward to the easing of inter-county travel on December 18th and people take the opportunity to visit family over the festive season, motorists should check the roadworthiness of their vehicles before setting off.
“During Level 5 restrictions, many cars – especially in urban settings – were not used for long periods, or only used for short journeys. We all have heard the tale of the motorist that has only filled up their tank a couple of times this year.
“This has led to car maintenance being put on the back burner for many car owners.
“That annual service may have been shelved and those new tyres you really needed may have been forgotten about as the commute or weekends away were no longer a factor.
“Well in advance of any Christmas journey, take a few minutes to check your tyre tread depth and pressure, check your oil and ensure your battery is in working order. Wipers and lights should also be assessed as they are particularly important at this time of year.
“It is also incredibly important to ensure that child car seats are correctly installed in your vehicle.
“Following the suspension of face-to-face child car seat checks, the RSA is now providing free virtual checks in their Check it Fits Service.
“As many as four of every five child car seats are incorrectly fitted which can lead to serious injury in the event of a crash and so I’d strongly encourage all those who have a car seat in their vehicle to avail of this free service.
“It might also be wise for grandparents or other friends and family members to make sure they’re familiar with how to fit a car seat correctly if they’re minding kids or joining on journeys.
“Parents can visit www.rsa.ie/checkitfits to book an appointment for a virtual check.
“These are small checks you can perform to ensure that your family and vehicle are safe when travelling this Christmas.
“Most importantly, drive safely. We will see a lot more traffic on motorways around the country in the coming weeks.
“Before you put ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ on the playlist, make sure your car can make the journey.” Deputy Richmond concluded.