Road Safety Alert – Weather Warning for Ice

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is advising all road users to prepare for cold weather conditions as Met Eireann have issued a yellow warning for cold temperatures and with icy patches for the following counties from Wednesday evening, 29 November: Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Laois, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Westmeath, and Wicklow. This will lead to hazardous conditions on roads and footpaths.

Road users are being advised to check local traffic and weather conditions before setting out on any journeys. The RSA has the following practical advice for road users to cope with the icy conditions:

Drivers are advised to:

  • Clear windows and mirrors fully before you set out, use a screen scraper and de-icer fluid. Do not use hot water on the windscreen as it can crack the glass.
  • In 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.
  • Watch out for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, people who cycle and motorcyclists – slow down and allow extra space when overtaking them.

For a copy of the RSA’s ‘Top 10 tips for driving in icy conditions’, click here.

Pedestrians are advised in icy conditions to:

  • Wear appropriate footwear. Walk on the footpath, not in the street. Walk on the right-hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths.
  • DO NOT 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 doorstep, on the path or while getting out of the car. When you approach a footpath or roadway that appears to be covered with snow or ice, always use extreme caution.

For a copy of the RSA’s ‘Top 10 tips to avoid a fall or slip in snow or icy conditions’, click here.

People who cycle and ride motorcycles are advised:

  • If the roads are icy, it is important to pedal smoothly and relax your upper body. Try not to get out of the saddle if it’s slippy and always remember to brake before corners.
  • Remember to be extra alert at all times. Vehicle stopping distances are worsened in icy conditions. People who cycle need to stay alert and prepared for the road ahead. Wear warm clothes, lots of layers is a smart move and the most vital item of clothing for cycling in freezing conditions are gloves.
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