The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is advising all road users to take particular care on the roads as widespread rainfall, heavy at times is promised over the west coast, spreading eastwards during the afternoon.
Met Éireann has forecast frequent heavy showers over the west, spreading eastwards over the weekend with risk of some strong to gale force winds along exposed coastal areas.
The RSA is advising road users to slow down and exercise caution while using the roads, and have issued the following advise;
· It takes longer to stop a vehicle on wet roads so slow down and allow extra distance between you and the vehicle in front, 4 seconds at a minimum (use the 2 second rule and repeat it twice).
· Take special care when driving behind trucks or buses as they generate a considerable amount of spray which reduces your visibility,
· Watch out for falling/fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road and the reaction of other road users.
· Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds. High sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds.
· Watch out for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
· Use dipped headlights at all times of poor visibility not parking/side lights and fog lights.
· Check tyres and consider replacing them if the thread depth is below 3mm.
· Be mindful of Aquaplaning on roads where 100/120kmh speeds apply. Aquaplaning occurs where the tyre thread fill with water and the driver is at risk of losing control of the vehicle.
· Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are advised to be seen. Wear bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective belt.
· Pedestrians should walk on a footpath, not in the street. Walk on the right hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths.
The RSA also has the following advice for driving in flooded conditions;
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.