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Dublin: 2°C Sunday 28 November 2021

More people are locking their keys inside their cars

The AA has warned motorists not to be complacent when it comes to vehicles during the hot weather.

Image: angel_shark via Flickr/Creative Commons

THE AA HAS given us another downside to the current spell of hot weather…it seems it makes Irish people a bit too complacent about their vehicles.

Over the past few weeks, there has been an increase of more than 19 per cent in AA Rescue call-outs because motorists have locked their keys inside their cars.

The AA has blamed the unexpected high temperatures for the jump in carelessness, noting that many people are taking advantage of the heat and heading to seaside towns. There has been a particular rise in breakdowns and other call-outs in Skerries, Balbriggan, Bettystown and in other coastal areas of Wexford, Kerry and Clare.

The figure of 19 per cent comes after the company compared its call-outs from February to April with the period from May to mid-July.

In the first 18 days of July, workers dealt with 130 cases where people had locked their keys in the car. Motorists are more likely to do this at the weekend, as according to AA data there was an increase of about 36 per cent in call-outs to people who had locked their keys in the car at the weekend compared to midweek.

And it isn’t just the keys causing problems.

There has also been a rise in the number of flat batteries.

“We see a lot of people using their car radio as a stereo when the sun comes out or sitting in the car with the fans blowing out air, whilst the engine is off and this wastes the battery,” explained Conor Faughnan, director of policy at the AA.

“Irish cars are getting older year by year as new car sales remain at very low levels,” added Faughnan, noting that breakdowns are now more common.

He urged motorists to check tyre pressure, oil and coolant fluid, and to ensure there is sufficient petrol for long trips as there may be a need to queue for parking.

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