The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport have recently issued a number of safety tips for motorists this summer.
The tips include advice for farmers during the busy silage season.
Driving in the summer
The Government has asked for motorists to slow down this summer, due to the increase in pedestrian, cyclist and motorcyclist casualties during this period.
They have also advised drivers to take precautions with the increase in the number of tractors using the road, especially as the silage cutting season begins. “If stuck behind a tractor, be patient and don’t overtake until the road is clear. Farmers need to be safety conscious too.”
“If the traffic is building up behind, keep left when safe to allow people to safely pass. Drivers should be aware of farm machinery leaving fields and farmyards.”
The Department of Transport also wants to remind people of the dangers of drink-driving, saying alcohol is a factor in 38% of fatal crashes.
Road safety tips for farmers
Drivers of agricultural vehicles should:
- Wash down wheels regularly to avoid carrying mud and stones onto the public road;
- Be careful when transporting materials like silage, slurry, sand and gravel and avoid spilling it on the road;
- Do not overload trailers;
- Look out for low bridges, overhanging trees, overhead cables and uneven road surfaces;
- Fit all agricultural vehicles and trailers with mirrors, lights, reflectors and indicators;
- Large farming vehicles should consider using an escort vehicle to warn other road users;
- Drive at an appropriate speed for the road conditions.
Ensure your vehicle is summer-ready
A summer checklist has also been provided:
- Your vehicle should have a full service every 10,000 – 15,000 kilometres;
- Make sure all your indicators and headlamps are clean and working;
- Make sure the water reservoir is up to the maximum mark, as well as coolant and screenwash;
- Check your dipstick and top up the oil if necessary. Look for signs of leakages on the ground under the car;
- Check your dashboard before and after starting the engine. Listen for a weak battery and replace if necessary;
- Regularly clean and replace windscreen wipers every 12 months;
- Check your tyre treads and pressure, including the spare. The minimum legal limit is 1.6mm;
- Check your vehicle’s manual for if it has any safety assist technology, like ABS.
Further information on being prepared for emergencies on the road can be found on the RSA’s website