Posted By Cormac Sheridan ~ 19th March 2013
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) are today Tuesday March 19th appealing to road users to take extra care on the roads following reports of snow showers overnight and tomorrow, Wednesday morning over Ulster, northern and eastern parts of Leinster and north Connacht.
Met Éireann have forecast a cold night tonight with temperatures falling as low as -3 degrees in places with frost and icy patches forming under cloud breaks. Further sleet and snow showers tonight and tomorrow morning with accumulations likely, especially on higher ground. Some patches of mist and fog will form also.
The RSA has issued the following advice to road users;
- If driving in snow, gently does it. Manoeuvre gently, slow down and leave extra distance between you and the vehicle in front. Too much steering is bad and avoid harsh braking and acceleration.
- Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Select a low gear when travelling downhill especially if through bends.
- Falling snow, fog, rain, or hail will reduces visibility. Do not hang on to the tail lights of the vehicle in front of you as it can give a false sense of security. When you slow down, use your brakes so that the brake lights warn drivers behind you.
- Watch out for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and allow extra space.
- 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. Watch out for black ice, especially in sheltered / shaded areas on roads, under trees and adjacent to high walls.
- When driving in snow and fog do so with extreme caution, at low speed and with your fog lights turned on. Don’t forget to turn them off when snow / fog has cleared.
Pedestrians and cyclists are advised to;
- Be seen. Wear bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective belt.
- Take extra care when near traffic or crossing the road in extremely windy conditions as sudden gusts can blow you into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
- While walking on footpaths and in public places, or entering and exiting your car or truck, 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 door step, on the path or while getting out of the car. It is very possible that a thin sheet of transparent ice or “Black Ice” is covering your pathway putting you at risk. When you approach a footpath or roadway that appears to be covered with ice, always use extreme caution.
- If walking or cycling in fog, make sure you are clearly visible by carrying a torch and wearing reflective clothing. Stay well in off the road where there is no footpath when vehicles are approaching.