The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has warned of hazardous travelling conditions on roads and footpaths following Met Eireann’s advisory for cold weather.

Sharp to severe frosts are expected along with showers of hail, sleet and snow with the potential for freezing fog.

Road users are told to expect icy roads and be extra cautious on untreated road surfaces.

The RSA has issued the following advice for drivers to help deal with icy road conditions:

  • Clear your windows and mirrors of any ice, carry a screen scraper and de-icer.
  • Remember it takes longer to stop in icy conditions.
  • Avoid too much steering, harsh braking, and acceleration.
  • Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Select a low gear when travelling downhill especially if through bends.
  • Check tyres and replace them if the tread depth falls below 3mm.
  • Familiarise yourself with any safety assist technology like Electronic Stability Control (ESC) or Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) in your vehicle.
  • Watch out for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and allow extra space when overtaking them.

Safety tips for drivers who encounter hailstones include:

  • Reduce your speed, without braking if possible. Warn other drivers by using your hazard warning lights.
  • Driving slowly in a high gear will help your tyres maintain grip even as your tyres move over the compacted pellets of ice.
  • Accelerate and brake very gently and drive slowly on bends where loss of control is more likely. Avoid sudden steering movements or hard braking.
  • Keep an eye out for road markings that may become obscured and leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front.

There is also a risk of sleet and snow across the country. Drivers in these conditions are advised to:

  • Remove all snow from your vehicle before starting your journey.
  • In snow and icy conditions, slow down. Use all controls delicately and leave extra distance between you and the vehicle in front.
  • Do not drive on the taillights of the vehicle in front. In heavy snow, use your fog lights, turn off your radio and open your window, so you can hear other traffic, especially at junctions.