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Dublin: 8 °C Saturday 20 April, 2019
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Motorists warned to take care after a cold and frosty night

A status yellow snow-ice alert remains in place today.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

MOTORISTS ARE BEING warned to take care on the roads this morning following a cold and frosty night.

A status yellow snow-ice warning is in place for Ireland until midnight tonight.

Met Éireann is warning that there are frost and icy patches in many areas of the country this morning.

Sunshine and wintry showers are expected throughout the day, with the greatest risk of snow early this morning. Connacht and Ulster are most at risk of snowfall, especially on high ground.

Rain and sleet will fall later today, heaviest in the west and northwest. Some isolated showers are expected in the southeast.

It will be a cold day again, with the temperature dropping as low as 4 degrees, with gusty west to northwest winds.

Frost conditions will persist again tonight with icy patches expected to develop in many areas. Met Éireann has warned that temperatures could be as low at -2 degrees.

https://twitter.com/SusanSmythSL/status/934193498059919360

Be careful

AA Roadwatch is reminding drivers that stopping distances are 10 times longer on snow and ice. It said that gentle manoeuvres are the key to safe driving.

“Use major routes as they are more likely to have been gritted than secondary routes,” it said.

https://twitter.com/SusanSmythSL/status/934343916647800832

Meanwhile, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has issued the following advice for road users, when driving in icy and snowy conditions:

  • Clear your windows and mirrors before you set out, carry a screen scraper and de-icer. Do not use hot water on the windscreen as it can crack the glass.
  • If the road looks polished or glossy it could be black ice – it’s nearly transparent and can occur especially in sheltered areas on roads, under trees and adjacent to high walls.
  • Use dipped headlights at all times of poor visibility to ensure you are seen by other motorists.
  • Watch out for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and allow extra space.
  • Remove all snow from your vehicle before commencing your journey. Snow left on the roof will become loose and can drop onto the windscreen during 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.
  • In snowy 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 driving through bends.
  • Do not drive based on the tail-lights of the vehicle in front. This can give a false sense of security and you will be too close to be able to brake safely. In heavy fog, turn off your radio and let down your driver’s window a fraction, so as you can hear other traffic.
  • With sunny spells also forecast for certain parts of the country, drivers are reminded of the danger posed by sun glare. Minimise risk by wearing sunglasses, ensuring your windscreen is clear of grease or grime inside and out and adding windshield washer fluid to the water in the reservoir.
  • The best thing to do in extremely bad weather is to stay off the road. Take heed of warnings not to go out and travel only if absolutely necessary. This leaves the emergency services free to deal with real emergencies.

Meanwhile, pedestrians and cyclists have been advised not to 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 doorstep, on the path or while getting out of the car. Take extra care,” the RSA said in a statement.

Read: Woman dies after car ‘struck a barrier’ on motorway in Tipperary

More: A Tánaiste, a pedibus and Mambo No. 5: A day that brought Ireland to the brink of a Christmas election

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