Wednesday 20 June 2018

What you need to know before driving in snow and ice

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Storm Emma is set to bring snow, frost, ice and blizzard-like conditions to Ireland, making driving hazardous for motorists.

Met Eireann has issued a Status Orange weather warning for the east of the country from Tuesday afternoon until Wednesday morning. The national forecaster has warned that alert could escalate into a Status Red warning as conditions worsen later in the week. The storm, dubbed 'Beast from the East' is expected to bring snowfall from tomorrow evening and overnight.

There will also be widespread frost and icy conditions. A nationwide Status Yellow warning will remain in place until at least Saturday.

With driving and weather conditions expected to worsen significantly, AA Roadwatch are urging motorists to slow down, allow extra stopping distance between their car and any car in front of them, and to expect poor visibility conditions if driving in falling snow.

Motorists braving December's wintery conditions in the Phoenix Park, Dublin in 2011. Photo: Collins
Motorists braving December's wintery conditions in the Phoenix Park, Dublin in 2011. Photo: Collins

“While we have had some snow and icy conditions already in recent months, it looks like this coming week could see some of the worst weather conditions that we have seen in a number of years.

"The key message for motorists is to adapt your driving to the weather conditions, be on the lookout for vulnerable road users, and make sure your windscreen, windows and mirrors are fully de-iced before you start your journey.

"We’ve all seen someone driving around with only a few inches of their windscreen cleared and it’s one of the most dangerous practices motorists could do,” Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs warned.

“You’re putting yourself in a scenario where you can’t what’s on the road ahead of you clearly and you’ll also struggle to see any cyclists or pedestrians who may also be on the road.”

“The best advice is to add an extra 15 minutes onto your normal commute and use that extra time to get your windows clear, as well as making allowances for the extra traffic you are likely to see on key routes.”

AA Rescue, the insurance intermediary’s breakdown service, is also making extra resources available in the coming days to accommodate an expected spike in breakdowns. AA Rescue patrols offer roadside assistance on a nationwide scale.

“Whenever temperatures dip there’s a few breakdown issues that motorists need to be particularly mindful of. If you have an older or weaker battery the sudden temperature dip may result in your car struggling to start after being idle overnight. If your car has been unused for a number over the weekend and into the start of the week it can be worth taking it for a short drive before the weather worsens to ensure your battery is functioning correctly,” Faughnan added.

“Secondly, whatever you do, don’t pour boiling water over your windscreen when trying to defrost it in the morning as it’s very likely to crack the glass. Warm water will get your windows clear and get you on the road, boiling water may leave you waiting for assistance.”

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