The Road Safety Authority is appealing to motorists to take care as temperatures plummet over the next 72 hours.
A status yellow snow and ice warning is in place for Connacht, Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal until Saturday at 12pm.
Met Éireann says very cold, wintry weather will continue until the weekend.
"It will develop from Wednesday night onwards. Showers will turn wintry in many places, from Wednesday evening to Saturday, with falls of sleet and snow expected. The heaviest of the snow fall is most likely over Ulster, Connacht, north Leinster and west Munster and especially so on high ground."
Meanwhile the RSA has this advice for drivers:
The RSA has issued the following advice:
- 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.