Posts tagged ‘road conditions’

Getting Ready for Winter

Hi All.

I just wanted to write a quick post with regards to the Winter.
Autumn/Winter can be a bit of a challenge for new drivers and can even catch out a few experienced ones.
I have compiled a few top tips to keep yourself away from Hazards and NOT ceate any for any other drivers.

As we know already, Cork roads are not the best. They are plagued with poor surface and idiot drivers.
The first defence is to make sure the basic car checks are done.

  1. Check ALL lights, brake lights and indicators – Get someone to help you or use your local TOPAZ. They have a Mirror beside the Tyre inflator to help you check your lights without getting out of the seat. This will allow other drivers to see you and help them make better driving decisions based on your signals. People have lost their lives because other drivers lights were broken.
  2. Check Tyre Condition and Tyre pressures – Check that the grooves in the tyre are deep enough. The minimum legal Tread depth is 1.6mm. On all tyres there are little tyre wear indicator stubbs in the groove to tell you when theyre illegal. If theres no deep groove then the tyre will not displace any water etc and thus NO GRIP. Also check your tyre pressure. Under inflated tyres are like driving on Raw Eggs. Over inflated tyres reduce your grip. If in Doubt, I always inflate to 30 psi. The tyre inflators in most petrol stations are free and most garages will assist you. Its not difficult but essential. People have died from driving on under inflated tyres.
  3. Check your Coolant – Open the Bonnet and look for the resevoir that has a thermometer on it or CAUTION HOT text on the cap. This is your coolant. This keeps your engine cool. The fluid should be RED or GREENISH colour. This is the ANTIFREEZE additive that stops it from freezing. If its clear or transparant, bring it to a mechanic for a mini service. NO ANTIFREEZE = FROZEN ENGINE and LEAKS. Drivers have broken their cars from not checking antifreeze levels. Remember water expands when it freezes !
  4. Top up your Screenwash – Open the Bonnet and look for the resevoir with the windscreen and dashed lines squirting over it. This is the fluid that squirts onto your window when you pull the window wiper stick attached to your steering wheel. For €2 you can get screen wash liguid soap from the petrol station then top it up with ordinary tap water. This is essential if we get frost. Why? Because if we get frost, they send out the grit lorries to grit the roads to prevent them freezing. Grit is basically salt. The vehicle in front of you will spray salt up on your window from its tyres and your windows will go white. It becomes very difficult to see. People have lost their lives from not topping up their screenwash.

This is all basic stuff, but if your not comfortable doing it yourself, then find your nearest ADVANCE PITSTOP in Cork or Local Mechanic and ask them to do a Winter Check.

Secondly – Keep your driving smooth and creamy. What I mean by this (and most of my students will already know this) is to keep the car steady and safe. Dont be erratic with the steering or the pedals. You will only discover loss of grip when its too late and YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO RECOVER FROM A SKID without prior training.

Brake earlier and softer on the pedal. This warns drivers behind you sooner and prevents your wheels LOCKING UP.

And Thirdly, Do I need to say it? Really?


Theres too many idiots on the road.


  1. Keep your self out of danger
  2. Dont create any danger for anyone else (requires forward thinking)

Hope this helps at least one of you stay safe this winter.

Safe Driving





Cork Road Conditions Terrible

Hi everyone.
After my last post about the floods in Cork, giving Driving Lessons in cork have become quite a challenge.
The reason being is that the floods have left the roads in an aweful state.
The size of the Pot holes on the roads around rural Midleton and parts of the city have started to increase so much so that cars are veering into oncoming traffic just to avoid damaging their cars. This in turn is counter productive because the likely hood of them hitting an on coming car is greater than them sustaining damage from the pot hole in the tarmac.
Only yesterday I was giving a driving lesson in Cork and another Driving Instructor had warned me that near one of the schools in Glanmire there was a massive hole in the Road and to avoid it at all costs.
Its becoming more of an issue the longer they go un-repaired.
So whats being done to fix the roads. Answer. Nothing Yet..
The Local authorities simply dont have the money to fix all of the problems with the roads in Cork. So driving them is going to remain difficult.

I urge everybody to slow down and adjust your speed to suit the road conditions.
You should also increase the distance to the vehicle in front of you to improve your visibilty of the tarmac.
If you see a puddle then assume that there is a strong possibilty that there is a hole underneath it.
Please dont swerve eratically to avoid pot holes in the tarmac. Simply slow down, use your hazard warning lights if necessary or better still, AVOID driving that road all together. Especially if you have prior knowledge of driving on that particular route.

Its always good to inform family and friends of issues on the road, but as always please do not text while driving.

For more information on Driving Conditions in your area you can check out

Safe Driving