18 January 2013
Road Safety Alert – Sleet &Snow
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) are today January 18th reminding road users to remain extra vigilant on the roads today as sleet and snow continues to fall in parts of the country. Met Éireann has forecast further falls of snow over the Northern half of Leinster, Ulster and north Connaught and on higher ground in Dublin and Wicklow today and tonight with accumulations of 5cm and 10cm possible.
The RSA are reminding road users to check their local weather forecast before making any journeys today following reports of blizzard conditions in places. While driving in these hazardous conditions it’s important to allow extra time to complete your journey. Slow down and keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front to allow for extra braking distance.
Snow & Ice
- 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.
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.
Download the RSA’s Top 10 Tips for Driving in Snow Conditions
Download the RSA’s Top 10 Tips for Avoiding Slips and Falls in Snow
Or visit the RSA’s website for more information on Severe Weather Advice for road users. For weather updates visit www.met.ie
View the Department of Transport’s ‘Transport Information Guide During Severe Weather 2012-2013’ at the following link www.dttas.ie
For further information please contact
RSA Communications Department – 096 25008