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.
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 snow and icy conditions slow down, use all controls delicately and leave extra distance between you and the vehicle in front. Too much steering is bad and avoid 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.
Remember that heavy snowfall and rain reduce visibility. Use dipped headlights and decrease speed smoothly.
Do not drive on the tail-lights of the vehicle in front (Target Fixing). 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.
Watch out for "black ice." If the road looks polished or glossy it could be, black ice” one of winter's worst hazards: Black Ice is difficult to see! It is nearly transparent ice that often looks like a harmless puddle or is overlooked entirely. It can occur especially in sheltered / shaded areas on roads, under trees and adjacent to high walls.
Watch out for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and allow extra space.
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 instead of rounding up stranded motorists caught in snow.
Advice to pedestrians and cyclists include:
While walking on footpaths and in public places, or entering and exiting your vehicle, DO NOT 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 door step, on the path or while getting out of the car. It is very possible that a thin sheet of transparent ice or “Black Ice” is covering your pathway putting you at risk. When you approach a footpath or roadway that appears to be covered with ice, always use extreme caution.
For advice on severe weather driving tips visit Met Eireann’s website www.met.ie