The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is asking road users to exercise caution while using the roads over the next few days as Met Eireann has issued Orange and Yellow weather warnings for strong winds and rain.
An Orange Weather Warning has been issued for Tuesday and Tuesday night, due to Storm Barra. Southerly winds, later becoming north-westerly, will reach mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h with severe or damaging gusts of up to 130km/h, possibly higher in coastal areas. Affected counties include Clare, Cork, Galway, Kerry, and Limerick.
A Yellow Warning has been issued for the rest of the country on Tuesday and for a time on Wednesday, as Storm Barra brings very strong winds and spells of heavy rain across Ireland. Heavy rain will bring localised flooding. There will also be a risk of coastal flooding on south and west coasts.
Road users in areas affected by the Orange Warning are advised to check local traffic and weather conditions before setting out on a journey. The following advice is being given to road users. Motorists;
- Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds, especially on exposed routes such as dual carriageways and motorways. High sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds.
- Beware of objects being blown onto the road. Expect road conditions to change quickly in high winds so reduce your speed.
- Watch out for falling/fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road.
- Drivers should allow extra space between themselves and vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and motorcyclists as they may be blown off course by strong winds.
- Drivers need to slow down in wet weather conditions, to avoid the risk of aquaplaning. Drivers should also leave a bigger gap between themselves and the vehicle in front.
- 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. They may also have trees or branches that have fallen that may not be visible.
- Road users should always follow recommended routes and obey signs closing roads to traffic.
- After going through water, drive slowly with your foot on the brake pedal for a short distance – this helps to dry the brakes.
- Drive with dipped headlights at all times.
Advice to Pedestrians, Cyclists and motorcyclists;
- In areas affected by Orange Weather Warnings you should consider postponing your journey until conditions improve.
- Visibility and light is reduced in poor weather conditions. Keep safe by making sure you can 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, where possible and not in the street. If there is a footpath and it is safe to use, look out for falling debris from above, especially in urban areas.
- Walk on the right-hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths.
- Cyclist should ensure that they and their bike are visible to other road users by investing in a good set of front and rear lights (white at the front, red at the back) and by wearing clothes that help you be seen on your bike such as bright and light reflective items.