Localised Flooding And Strong Winds Warning From RSA

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is advising road users to take particular care on the roads as Met √Čireann is warning of the potential for some severe weather over Ireland overnight and tomorrow.

Met Eireann says stormy conditions will affect Ireland Thursday afternoon, evening and for much of Thursday night. Gale force westerly winds will gust between 100 and 120 km/hr generally, but gusts of up to 140 km/hr are expected in exposed parts of Connacht and Ulster. These winds are likely to lead to some structural damage and will be accompanied by high seas on Atlantic coasts. Winds will moderate considerably towards dawn on Friday.

The RSA has issued the following advice: When driving in wet and windy conditions drivers are reminded that;

* It takes longer to stop a vehicle on wet roads so slow down and allow extra distance between you and the vehicle in front.
* Watch out for falling/fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road
* Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds. High sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds
* Take special care when driving behind goods vehicles as they generate a considerable amount of spray which reduces your visibility
* Allow extra space between you and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists
* Drive with dipped headlights at all times
* Be aware of the danger of aquaplaning especially on roads with 100 km/h and 120 km/h roads.
* Check tyres to ensure minimum tread depth of 1.6mm and correct tyre pressure

With added risks posed by wet or flooded roads the RSA has the following advice;

* If the road ahead is flooded choose another route, do not attempt to drive through it. Flooded roads that appear shallow could be deeper than you think.
* After going through water, drive slowly with your foot on the brake pedal for a short distance - this helps to dry the brakes.
* Sometimes roads can be closed due to their fragile state after wet weather or because they are blocked by flooding. Road users should always follow recommended routes and obey signs closing roads to traffic
* Watch out for washed out roads, earth slides, broken water or sewer mains, loose or downed electrical wires, and fallen or falling objects

Advice to Pedestrians & Cyclists;

* Be seen. Wear a high visibility jacket or reflective armband
* Walk on a footpath, not in the street. Walk on the right hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths
* Take extra care when near traffic or crossing the road in extremely windy conditions as a sudden gust of wind could blow you into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

Road users are advised to check local and National weather forecasts before setting out on a journey.

More information on using the roads in severe weather, can be found in the RSA’s publication ‘Severe Weather Advice for Road Users’ which can be downloaded from the RSA’s website