AA Rescue is preparing for up to 300 breakdowns a day in what the breakdown assistance provider expects to be one of the busiest weekends of the year on Irish roads.
According to the AA, the number of breakdowns occurring on Irish roads over past May Bank Holiday periods had been steadily decreasing, up until 2014.
However, over the course of the past two years there has been a significant increase in the number of breakdowns reported over the May weekend, with AA Rescue responding to 1,504 breakdowns between the 29th of April and 3rd of May 2016.
“For many of us the May Bank Holiday weekend marks the start of summer and as a result we expect to see an increase in the number of cars on Irish roads over the coming days,” Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs, said. “Last year over the course of the May Bank Holiday we attended to approximately 300 breakdowns a day, compared to a rate of approximately 200 breakdowns a day on a typical weekend, and expect to see that figure increase again this year.
"This will be the first long journey of the year for many motorists and it’s important to give your car a quick once over before you leave home to help prevent a minor fault which could be easily fixed becoming a major issue halfway through your journey," he said.
The AA is also also urging motorists to exercise additional caution while driving over the coming days and to be on the lookout for vulnerable roads users, such as cyclists, and for other motorists who may not be familiar with the area they’re driving in.
"We’d call on all motorists to think of their own safety and that of other road users in the coming days so we can all have a safe and enjoyable weekend," Conor said.
The AA offers the acronym FLOWER as a handy pre-journey vehicle checklist:
Fuel: keep at least a quarter of a tank of fuel, in case of unexpected delays.
Lights: clean and check for blown bulbs and cracked lenses.
Oil: cars can consume as much as a litre of oil every 1,000 mi/1,600 km, so check the level when the engine is cold.
Water: check coolant and windscreen wash levels, topping up as required.
Electrics: make sure that your electric radiator cooling fan starts running when the engine gets hot – check this by running the engine with the car stationary.
Rubber: check tyre tread and pressure and increase pressure if carrying full load; inspect wiper blades for any damage and replace if necessary.