Be careful on the roads - weather expecting to cause delays

Be careful on the roads - weather expecting to cause delays

Motorists are being warned to expect a miserable start to the day as snow and ice overnight is expected to cause delays.

The AA has warned the arrival of the first blast of wintry weather will lead to increased breakdowns - adding further to the misery of drivers.

Council gritting lorries were deployed across the country last night as temperatures plunged and wet roads were frozen over.

Met Éireann warned of snow in many areas, particularly over Leinster, the Midlands and north-west.

Snow in Dublin yesterday morning didn't create any major difficulties, with AA Ireland reporting delays in the capital were down to the build-up of traffic. Heavier snow was reported in Offaly, Kildare, Wicklow, Wexford, Meath and Westmeath.

By nightfall the first snowfalls in Donegal were expected to drop up to 7cm in areas above 300m.

Gardai this morning have warned of icy conditions on the Termon to Gewdoore Road and said "extreme care" is needed.

The AA warned of a "surge" in car breakdowns - and possible delays on major routes over the next few days.

The motoring organisation urged people to have their vehicles serviced.

It said battery faults were very common in winter because of the way that low temperatures affected them and because of increased demands on a car's electrics.

But wet or icy roads and more hours of darkness mean that in an emergency, worn or damaged tyres can be lethal.

Research carried out by the Road Safety Authority earlier this year found that defective tyres are a contributory factor in 9pc of fatal road traffic incidents.

"A quarter of all breakdowns are electrical and batteries cause more AA call-outs than anything else," said AA Ireland's Conor Faughnan.

Met Éireann forecaster Helen Curran warned of another sharp frost overnight tonight - but a calm and clear, if bitterly cold weekend ahead.

"It is going to be very cold this weekend and into early next week as well with frost and ice, particularly at night," she said.

The nights will be very cold with widespread severe frost on Saturday and Sunday and daytime temperatures of 4C.