The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is advising road users to take extra care on the roads as Met Éireann has issued an orange weather warning and forecast possible snow accumulations of between 4 and 8 centimetres from midnight tonight to midnight on Thursday in counties Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo, particularly on high ground.
A yellow weather warning has also been issued for Longford, Cavan, Monaghan, Galway and Roscommon, with snow accumulations of 2 to 4 centimetres possible from midnight tonight until midnight on Thursday.
Advice for motorists
In light of the weather warning, the RSA has issued the following advice to motorists:
Check local and national weather forecasts before setting out on a journey. 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.
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 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.
Remember that heavy snowfall can reduce visibility. Use dipped headlights and decrease speed smoothly.
Use your dipped headlights so that others will see you. Make sure your headlights and taillights are all in working order, replace broken bulbs.
Watch out for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and allow extra space.
Check tyres, including the spare, and replace them if the tread depth falls below 3mm. Make sure tyres are inflated to the correct pressure. Lack of grip can occur even on treated roads so drive slowly in the highest gear possible, manoeuvre gently and avoid harsh braking.
Pedestrians and cyclists are advised to be seen and wear bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective belt. They are also asked to take extra care when near traffic or crossing the road in snowy conditions as visibility can be greatly reduced.
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 more weather updates, visit Met Éireann’s website, www.met.ie.