The Road Safety Authority (RSA), is asking road users to exercise caution while using the roads as Met Éireann have issued Orange and Yellow weather warnings for strong winds.
An Orange weather warning is in place for Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo from 12pm tomorrow (Tuesday) until 9am Wednesday. Westerly winds will reach mean speeds of 65 to 75 km/h with damaging gusts reaching 110 to 130 km/h. There is also the risk of coastal flooding due to high seas.
A Yellow weather warning is also in place for Ireland with Westerly winds reaching mean speeds of 50 to 65km/h and gusts of 90 to 110 km/h. There is a risk of coastal flooding due to high seas along Atlantic coasts from 12pm Tuesday to 12pm Wednesday.
Additionally, there is a further Yellow weather warning for Connacht, Donegal, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick from 6pm Monday (today) to 9am Tuesday morning with heavy rain followed by squally showers which will lead to the risk of rainfall accumulations of around 25 mm.
The RSA is asking road users to check local weather and traffic conditions and be aware of the conditions before setting out on a trip.
The RSA has the following advice for road users:
• Beware of objects being blown out onto the road. Expect the unexpected.
• 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.
• Drivers should allow extra space allow between themselves and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists as they may be blown off course by strong winds.
• Drive with dipped headlights at all times.
Advice to Pedestrians, Cyclists and motorcyclists;
• Be seen. Wear bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective belt.
• Take extra care when crossing the road or cycling in extremely windy conditions as a sudden gust of wind could blow you into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
• Walk on a footpath, not in the street. Walk on the right hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths.
When driving in wet 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.
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.
Be aware of the danger of aquaplaning especially on roads with speed limits of 100 km/h and 120 km/h.
Check tyres and consider replacing them if the thread depth is below 3 mm.
Use dipped headlights at all times of poor visibility to ensure you are seen by other motorists.
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.
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.
For advice on severe weather driving tips, please see severe weather advice on the RSA website or check out the RSA Facebook and Twitter pages.
Please also see our severe weather warning videos created in collaboration with Teresa Mannion here. See advice with advice for driving in strong winds here.
For more weather updates, visit Met Eireann’s website: www.met.ie