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Road safety warning issued due to weather

Friday, 3rd January, 2014 1:03pm

Road safety warning issued due to weather

The Road Safety Authority (RSA), the Gardai and Cavan County Council is asking road users to remain cautious while using the roads, as Met Éireann warns of strong winds and a drop in temperature tonight with the possibility of heavy frost in some areas.

Met Eireann have advised that it will stay extremely windy in parts of the west and the north this afternoon, with south westerly gusts of 90 to 120 km/h. The main weather warning affects coastal areas, though there are similar warnings in place for Cavan, Monaghan and parts of Leinster albeit with slightly less powerful gusts of 110kph.

Its also expected there willl be further heavy showers, some of which will be thundery.

The winds will continue to ease off overnight, and any showers will become largely confined to Atlantic coastal counties, but some will spread further inland. With Temperatures said to drop to between -2 and +2 degrees this may pose challenges to road users especially with the wet weather we had recently.

The RSA is appealing to road users to take extra care in these strong winds and frost and have issued the following advice:

  • Beware of objects being blown out onto the road. Expect the unexpected.

  • 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

  • Allow extra space between you and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists

  • Drive with dipped headlights at all times

  • Monitor radio weather broadcasts while travelling

  • Clear your windows and mirrors before you set out, carry a screen scraper and de-icer.

  • Do not use hot water on the windscreen as it can crack the glass.

  • Remember it takes longer to stop in icy conditions than on a dry road. Drive slowly and allow extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front.

  • Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin.

  • Select a low gear when travelling downhill especially if through bends.

  • Watch out for black ice, especially in sheltered/shaded areas on roads, under trees and adjacent to high walls.

  • One of the features of travelling on Black Ice is a sudden reduction in tyre noise.

  • Check tyres, including spare wheel, to ensure minimum tread depth of 1.6mm and correct tyre pressure.

Advice to Pedestrians & Cyclists;

  • 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, not in the street. Walk on the right hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths

  • Be extremely careful as frost will make walking on footpaths very dangerous

  • Make sure you are wearing appropriate footwear, wear shoes or boots with appropriate traction

  • Don’t walk with your hands in your pockets, walk with your hands out and wear gloves so you can break your fall if you do slip.

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

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