The Road Safety Authority (RSA), is asking road users to exercise caution while using the roads over the next few days and the weekend as Met Eireann has issued Orange and Yellow weather warnings for strong winds and heavy rain.
Met Eireann has issued an Orange Wind weather warning for Clare, Galway Kerry and Mayo from 6am Saturday 29 February to 3am Sunday 1 March and for Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo from 12pm Saturday to 3am on Sunday. Some severe winds expected during Saturday associated with Storm Jorge (Hor-hay). Southwest quickly veering west and later northwest will reach mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h with gusts of 110 to 130km/h, possibly higher in very exposed areas with an elevated risk of coastal flooding.
A yellow weather warning is in place for Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan, Roscommon, Cork, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford from 9am Saturday to 3am on Sunday as a band of very strong winds, associated with storm Jorge (Hor-hay) will extend across the country during Saturday morning and persist through the rest of the day and into the night. Southwest veering westerly winds of mean speeds 50 to 65km/h with gusts of 90 to 110km/h expected.
There is a further yellow weather warning in place for Munster, Connacht and Donegal for all day Friday and Saturday 28 and 29 February with rainfall accumulations of 20 to 30mm expected during Friday and Saturday generally but 40 to 50 mm in parts of Kerry, with a continuing risk of flooding due to already saturated ground and elevated river levels.
Road users in areas affected by the Orange Warnings 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. 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, especially 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.
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.
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
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