Road Safety Alert Update – Orange Weather Warning for Snow/Ice

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is again advising all road users to prepare for further cold weather conditions as Met Eireann have updated the Yellow warning for snow to orange Warnings for snow and Ice. This will lead to hazardous road conditions and reduced visibility.

There is an Orange Snow/Ice warning for Cavan, Donegal, Monaghan, Clare, Connacht, Longford, Louth, Meath, Westmeath from 11am Thursday to 12am Friday Morning and also an Status Orange – Snow/Ice warning for Leinster from 12am to 10am Friday. There is a yellow warning for Snow/Ice for Ireland from 3am Thursday to 12pm Friday.

Road users are being advised to avoid making unnecessary trips in affected areas while Orange warnings are in operation. If driving in such conditions is unavoidable be prepared. The golden rule is drive with care and caution – expect the unexpected. Road users are advised to check local traffic and weather conditions before setting out on a journey and heed any public messages issued by An Garda Síochána and the Local Authorities.

The RSA has the following practical advice for road users in snowy conditions:

Drivers are advised to:

  • 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.
  • Clear windows and mirrors before you set out, use a screen scraper and de-icer. Do not use hot water on the windscreen as it can crack the glass.
  • In snowy 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.
  • In snowy conditions, visibility will be reduced. 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 snow, use your fog lights, turn off your radio and open your window a fraction, so you can hear other traffic, especially at junctions.
  • Use dipped headlights at all times, and fog lights in heavy snow to ensure you are seen by other motorists (but don’t forget to turn them off afterwards).
  • Watch out for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and allow extra space.
  • Drivers of high sided vehicles like trucks and buses are particularly at risk from both the dangers posed by snow but also from the high winds associated with heavy snow conditions.

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

Pedestrians are advised to:

  • Wear high visibility clothing or carry a torch as visibility is reduced in snowy conditions. Wear clothing that does not restrict your vision.
  • 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 snow and 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. 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 snowy conditions click here.

Cyclists and Motorcyclists are advised to:

  • Motorcyclists / Cyclists should not compromise their safety by their ‘need’ to travel in snowy conditions.
  • Visibility is reduced in snowy conditions so cyclists should wear a Sam Browne Bandoleer belt or high visibility vest and ensure the lights on your bike are working correctly.
  • Motorcyclists should avoid wearing a dark visor in any bad light conditions.

More safety tips for Pedestrians, Cyclists and Motorcyclists using the roads in snowy conditions can be found here.

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