The Road Safety Authority (RSA), is asking road users to exercise caution while using the roads today Monday 22 February and Tuesday 23 February as Met Eireann have issued Orange and Yellow weather warnings for heavy rain and a Yellow Weather Warning for strong winds.
There is an Orange rainfall warning for Cork, Kerry, Tipperary and Waterford from 7pm Monday to 9pm Tuesday where very heavy rain will likely cause further river flooding and surface water flooding. There may be rainfall totals of 50 to 80mm which will be higher in mountainous regions. There is a Yellow Rainfall warning for Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan, Clare, Limerick, Connacht from 9pm Monday to 9pm Tuesday where heavy rainfall will lead to some river flooding and localised surface flooding. There will be rainfall totals of 30 to 50mm, higher in mountainous regions.
Finally there is a yellow wind warning for Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Munster, Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Sligo from 9pm Monday to 6am Tuesday where southerly winds will reach mean wind speeds of 50 to 65km/h, with gusts of 90 to 110km/h, possibly higher on exposed coasts. Where winds are onshore there is a risk of coastal flooding.
Road users in areas affected by the Orange Warnings for heavy rain are advised to check local traffic and weather conditions before setting out on a journey.
The following advice is being given to road users on foot of the weather warnings. Motorists;
- Drivers need to slow down and leave a bigger space between themselves and the vehicle in front in wet weather conditions. This is especially important on high speed roads such as dual carriageways and motorways where there is increased danger of aquaplaning.
- 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.
- Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds. 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.
Advice to Pedestrians, Cyclists and motorcyclists;
- 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.