THE Road Safety Authority (RSA) is advising all road users to take extreme care as Met Éireann has issued an ‘orange’ weather alert warning of winds of up to 65 to 80 km/h for exposed coastal and hilly areas of Donegal from today until Tuesday morning.
There will be high seas and some high tides and coastal flooding is possible. Winds will veer westerly during this evening and north-westerly overnight.
The RSA also advises road users to:
• Beware of objects being blown out onto the road and to expect the unexpected. In particular 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 around vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists as they may be blown off course by strong winds.
• 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 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.
• 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 should 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.
• 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 • Walk on a footpath, not in the street. Walk on the right hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths.
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.
For more weather updates visit Met Eireann’s website www.met.ie