Cold temperatures with icy patches can lead to hazardous conditions on roads and footpaths.

Now the Road Safety Authority (RSA), in Ireland, is urging cyclists, motorists and motorcyclists to make sure they are prepared for icy conditions this winter and has issued some practical advice to help keep people safe.

Drivers are advised:

  • Clear windows and mirrors fully before you set out, use a screen scraper and de-icer fluid. Do not use hot water on the windscreen as it can crack the glass.
  • In 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.
  • Watch out for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, people who cycle and motorcyclists – slow down and allow extra space when overtaking them.

Cyclists and motorcyclists are advised:

  • If the roads are icy, it is important to pedal smoothly and relax your upper body. Try not to get out of the saddle if it’s slippy and always remember to brake before corners.
  • Remember to be extra alert at all times. Vehicle stopping distances are worsened in icy conditions. People who cycle need to stay alert and prepared for the road ahead. Wear warm clothes, lots of layers is a smart move and the most vital item of clothing for cycling in freezing conditions are gloves.