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Environment : Road Safety Last Updated: 2, Apr 2018 - 10:02

Slow Down if Snow Down
By Noel Gibbons
15, Dec 2010 - 15:39

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This Country's variable weather conditions pose a wide range of problems for road users. In order to minimise accident risk, drivers need to fully adapt their driving to the different conditions.

Pay close attention to the road surface, as driving in snow and ice requires delicate use of your vehicle's controls and much greater anticipation. When driving in adverse conditions, you need to adjust your speed accordingly.

Snow driving

Snow-covered roads can often conceal all manner of potholes and road debris that could damage your tires. Drive slowly and try to use the busier sections of road as the weight of traffic will tend to clear the surface. Accelerate and brake gently, using as higher gear as possible to avoid unnecessary wheel-spin. If the car starts to slide, steer into the skid and keep your feet off the brake and throttle until the vehicle is back under control.

If you do get stuck, don't panic and plant the accelerator. Straighten the steering and clear the snow from the wheels. Place the sand bags (told you you'd need them) in front of the driving wheels to give the tires some grip. Offer gentle acceleration in a higher gear to move off and try not to stop again until you reach firmer ground.

Ice driving

Snow is one thing, but the ice that follows is more difficult to spot and offers more dangerous driving conditions.

Black ice - transparent ice that looks black because it is above asphalt - is prevalent on bridges, overpasses, less busy roads and shaded areas.

When following another car in icy conditions, it's best to create a 7-8 second gap between you and the car in front. And yes, that even applies to 4x4 drivers - they may find it much easier to gain traction, but they'll have exactly the same grip issues when it comes to stopping.


Drivers should proceed with caution at all times. Mayo County Council is unable to grit or salt all of the road and path surfaces in the County. The Council advises drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to be careful over the coming days as they move around the County.

Mayo County Council will endeavour to ensure that the County is kept moving considering the availability of salt and the latest forecasts which predict that the cold weather will continue over the weekend and into next week.

The NRA has announced steps to ration the national distribution of salt, so it is imperative that Mayo County Council manages its supplies carefully.

Mayo County Council would like to ask the public to take special care on all roads, and continue to travel with extreme caution at this time as icy patches may be more frequent with the reduced salt available.



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