23 November 2017: The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is advising all road users to take extra care when using the roads as Met Éireann have issued yellow weather warnings for low temperatures and scattered snow showers.
Low temperatures are expected across the country from 11pm tonight until 11am tomorrow morning with temperatures reaching lows of -3 or -4 degrees in places. Lower temperatures will mean roads may be icy with risk of black ice.
Scattered snow showers are also likely from 5am Friday until 12pm on Saturday, these showers will be most frequent in Ulster and Connacht.
The RSA is asking road users to check local weather and traffic conditions and be aware of the conditions before setting out on a trip. The RSA has the following advice for road users, when driving in icy and snowy conditions:
· Clear your windows and mirrors before you set out, carry a screen scraper and de-icer. Do not use hot water on the windscreen as it can crack the glass.
· Watch out for “black ice.” If the road looks polished or glossy it could be, black ice” one of winter’s worst hazards: Black Ice is difficult to see! It is nearly transparent ice that often looks like a harmless puddle or is overlooked entirely. It can occur especially in sheltered / shaded areas on roads, under trees and adjacent to high walls.
· Use dipped headlights at all times of poor visibility to ensure you are seen by other motorists
· Watch out for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and allow extra space.
· Remove ALL snow from your vehicle before commencing your journey. Snow left on the roof will become loose and can drop onto the windscreen during braking, thereby causing sudden and severe restriction to your vision. It can also fall off during your drive and cause injury to pedestrians or a reflex action by another driver.
· In snow and icy conditions slow down, use all controls delicately and leave extra distance between you and the vehicle in front. Avoid over steering and harsh braking and harsh acceleration. Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Select a low gear when travelling downhill especially if through bends.
· Do not drive on the tail-lights of the vehicle in front (Target Fixing). This can give a false sense of security and you will be too close to be able to brake safely. In heavy fog, turn off your radio and let down your driver’s window a fraction, so as you can hear other traffic.
· The best thing to do in extremely bad weather is to stay off the road. Take heed of warnings not to go out and travel only if absolutely necessary. This leaves the emergency services free to deal with real emergencies.
· With sunny spells also forecast for certain parts of the country, drivers are reminded of the danger posed by ‘sun glare’. Minimize risk by wearing sun glasses, ensuring your windscreen is clear of grease or grime inside and out and adding windshield washer fluid to the water in the reservoir.
Pedestrians and cyclists are advised to:
· While walking on footpaths and in public places, or entering and exiting your vehicle, don’t underestimate the danger of ice. Many slips and falls happen in places people regard as safe and secure, typically outside their front door, on the door step, on the path or while getting out of the car. Take extra care.
Please also see our new severe weather warning videos created in collaboration with Teresa Mannion with advice for driving in sun glare and icy conditions can be seen here. Our severe weather advice video for driving in icy conditions can be seen here. Our severe weather advice video for driving in snowy conditions can be seen here.
For more weather updates, visit Met Eireann’s website www.met.ie