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Published: 27/02/2018
From: Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government

Advice for Road Users

Information and advice for Road Users

A. Preparation:

• Ensure your tyres are roadworthy, inflated to the correct pressure and the thread depth is above the legal minimum of 1.6mm.

• Vehicle lights are clean and working properly.

• Windscreen wipers are not worn and there is de-icer in the windshield washing fluid

• Have an ice scraper handy.

• Become familiar with any safety assist features on their vehicle e.g. ABS, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Traction Control which help in the event of a skid.

• Drivers are advised to carry a number of essentials in the boot of their car including.

• High visibility vest

• Appropriate footwear in case you need to leave your vehicle e.g. boots

• A hazard warning triangle

• De-icing equipment (for glass and door locks)

• First aid kit

• A working torch

• A blanket, additional clothing & some food and water

B. Immediately before you set out:

• All road users should check national and local weather forecasts and traffic reports before making any journey to be aware of the conditions before deciding to set out on a trip.

• Clear windows and mirrors, use 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.

C. When driving:

• In snow and icy 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.

• Use dipped headlights at all times

• In blizzard conditions, visibility will be reduced greatly. Do not drive on the tail-lights of the vehicle in front (Target Fixing).

• 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.

• 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 blizzard conditions.

The RSA's Top 10 tips for driving in show or icy condition

Information and advice for Pedestrians:

• Be seen. Wear bright clothing but ideally wear a high visibility jacket, reflective armband or reflective belt.

• 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 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 snow or icy conditions’ click here.

The RSA’s ‘Top 10 tips to avoid a fall or slip in snow or icy conditions’

Information and advice for Cyclists and Motorcyclists:

• Motorcyclists / Cyclists should not compromise their safety by their ‘need’ to travel in icy/snow conditions. Cancel your journey or take alternative transport.

• 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.

• Remember other road users may not ‘expect’ you and could therefore comprise your safety

Keep up-to-date

For advice on driving in difficult conditions – RSA Ireland Twitter Account

For up-to-date information – Transport Infrastructure Ireland

For local information please contact your local authority or AA Roadwatch