12 Aug 2022

WARNING: AA advice on how to drive safely as Met Éireann forecasts hazardous conditions

WARNING: AA advice on how to drive safely as Met Éireann forecasts hazardous conditions

With difficult driving conditions expected on Thursday evening right through to Friday, motorists have been advised to drive with caution.

Met Éireann has issued a status yellow snow/ice warning for the entire country, from 16:00 Thursday, January 6 to 11:00 Friday, January 7.

It predicts scattered showers of hail, sleet and snow, and icy stretches on Thursday evening, Thursday night and Friday morning, which will lead to hazardous travelling conditions in some parts.

Showers will be most widespread in the west and north of the country where some accumulations are likely. Isolated thunderstorms will occur also.

The advice from the AA on how to cope with such conditions, is to be prepared. 

They have also detailed a few tips to make your commute safer.

Drivers are urged to slow down and allow extra space to brake.

"One of the most important things you need to do while driving on icy roads is slow down. This means allowing extra time for your journeys, as it might take you a little longer to get there.

"In icy conditions it can take ten times longer to stop your vehicle, meaning it’s essential to give yourself extra space around other road users," the AA says. 

While driving on a very icy road, it is also advisable to use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin, but select a low gear when travelling downhill, especially through bends in the road.

"Also remember to only make gentle manoeuvres where possible, as making harsh turns can result in your vehicle skidding. If you do find yourself skidding on an icy road, don’t brake fast. Reduce acceleration (but not completely) and go down through your gears to come to a gradual halt," the AA advises. 

They also urge drivers to remain vigilant. 

"Remember to treat every road as if it is frozen while driving in icy conditions".

Preparation is also key.

"Before you set out on the roads, make sure you’ve done all you can to make your journey as safe as possible. Check your tyres regularly, as you rely on them for grip on the roads," they say.

Motorists should clear windows, mirrors, and headlights of any ice and carry a screen scraper and de-icer in the vehicle.

"Remember to never pour very hot or boiling water on the windscreen as it could weaken or crack the glass. Also remember that it’s important to clear your whole window of ice, not just directly in front of the driver seat, as this will affect your peripheral vision. You can find more on the best ways to defrost a vehicle here," the AA safety advice outlines. 

Sunglasses can also be great for winter driving, as glare from the sun on icy roads can really affect visibility.

Drivers are also urged to stick to main roads where possible.

"Motorways, national roads, and regional roads are more likely to be gritted than local roads or secondary routes. While you still need to drive with extra caution on main roads in icy conditions, you need to be even more vigilant on secondary routes.

"Local roads may also be more shaded than main routes, as they are narrower and are often surrounded by trees. This means ice can linger for longer," the AA warns. 

Drivers are also reminded to be especially careful during the night and early morning.

"The colder it is, the more likely the roads will be icy, and since night-time and early mornings are colder than the rest of the day, you need to be more cautious of dangerous driving conditions during these times. There will also be less visibility during these hours, so it’s even more important to slow down and be vigilant," the AA says. 

Read the full AA Blog here

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