2017 news

07 December 2017

Road Safety Alert – Scattered Snow Showers and Black Ice

An orange weather warning has been issued for snow showers for Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Longford, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo. Snow showers are expected this evening, tonight and during Friday for these areas with accumulations of 4 to 8 cm expected with larger values accumulating on high ground. Roads and footpaths will be icy, road users are reminded to look out for black ice.

A yellow weather warning has also been issued for Munster, Dublin, Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Louth, Wexford, Wicklow, Offaly, Westmeath, Meath and Roscommon. Occasional snow showers are expected for these counties with accumulations of up to 3 cm expected. Lower temperatures will mean roads may be icy with a risk of black ice.

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 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 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 advice on severe weather driving tips, please see severe weather advice on the RSA website or check out the RSA Facebook and Twitter pages.

For further weather updates, visit Met Eireann’s website www.met.ie


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