The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is advising all road users to take extra care when using the roads as Met Éireann warn of thunderstorms with frequent lightning this afternoon and evening in Connacht and counties Cavan, Monaghan, Laois, Longford, Offaly, Westmeath, Meath, Clare, Limerick and Tipperary.
Met Éireann has issued a level orange alert this afternoon warning that there may be widespread thunderstorm activity in these areas over the next few hours, with potentially large amounts of rainfall in a short period of time and a possibility of spot flooding.
The poor weather will create potentially hazardous conditions for road users. As such the RSA is advising drivers that;
• 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, not parking/side lights and fog lights.
• Be mindful of Aquaplaning on roads where 100/120kmh speeds apply. Aquaplaning occurs where the tyre tread 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.
• Allow extra space between you and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists
• Monitor radio weather broadcasts while travelling
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 For more weather updates visit Met Eireann's website www.met.ie