10 things you should do if you’re going driving through snow

Met Eireann has issued orange and yellow weather warnings with up to 3 inches of snow promised for parts of the country.

Snow accumulations of between 4 and 8cm are possible from midnight tonight (Wednesday) until midnight on Thursday in Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo.

For Longford, Cavan, Monaghan, Galway and Roscommon, snow accumulations of 2 to 4cm are possible from midnight tonight until midnight on Thursday.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has issued the following advice for driving in these conditions:

  • 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 spare wheel, replace them if the tread depth falls below 3mm and make sure they are inflated to the correct tyre 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. Wear bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective belt.
  • Take extra care when near traffic or crossing the road in snowy conditions as visibility can be greatly reduced.

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