Road safety tips for driving in snow on Kildare roads

Road Safety Authority

Paula Campbell

Reporter:

Paula Campbell

Email:

paulashawcampbell@gmail.com

Road safety tips for driving in snow on Kildare roads

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is advising Kildare road users to take extreme care as many roads in parts of the county are treacherous following heavy snowfalls overnight.

Met Éireann has issued a status RED warning for Kildare, Louth, Wicklow, Laois, Dublin and Meath, as heavy overnight snowfall has led to accumulations of snow between 5 and 10 cm. Snow showers will continue to occur during today and again tonight with further accumulations. Total snowfall up to midday Thursday may reach 25 cm.

A status Orange warning is in place for heavy snow showers today. Both warning are in place until noon Thursday 1 March.

All road users should check national and local weather forecasts and traffic reportsbefore making any journey and seriously consider postponing or cancelling theirtrip if the conditions in their area, along the route or destination are severe.

Drivers are being advised to: Remove all snow from your vehicle before commencing your journey. Snow left on the roof will become loose and can drop onto the windscreenduring 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.

Clear windows and mirrors before you set out, use a screen scraper and de-icer. Do not use hot water on the windscreen as it can crack the glass.

In snow and icy conditions slow down, use all controls delicately and leaveextra distance between you and the vehicle in front. Avoid over steering andharsh braking and harsh acceleration. Use the highest gear possible to avoidwheel spin. Select a low gear when travelling downhill especially if throughbends. In blizzard conditions, visibility will be reduced greatly. Do not drive on the tail-lights of the vehicle in front  This can give a false sense ofsecurity and you will be too close to be able to brake safely. In heavy snow, use your fog lights, turn off your radio and open your window a fraction, soyou can hear other traffic, especially at junctions.

Use dipped headlights at all times, and fog lights in heavy snow to ensure you are seen by other motorists (but don’t forget to turn them off afterwards). 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.

Pedestrians are advised to: 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 approacha footpath or roadway that appears to be covered with snow or ice, always use extreme caution.

Cyclists and Motorcyclists are advised to: Motorcyclists / Cyclists should not compromise their safety by their ‘need’ totravel 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 

For advice on severe weather driving tips and weather updates, please see severeweather advice on the RSA website or check out the RSA Facebook and Twitter pages.