03 March 2017
Road Safety Alert – Yellow Weather Warning Issued for Heavy Rain, Ice and Snow
A yellow weather warning has been issued for heavy rainfall and snow for the west and south west of the country over the weekend. Widespread heavy showers are also forecast nationwide and at times are likely to lead to rainfall accumulations of 30 to 40mm. The worst affected areas are expected to be Connaught, Donegal, Clare, Cork, Kerry and limerick. The forecast indicates a return to more settled conditions towards the middle of next week. The RSA is asking road users to keep up to date with local weather and traffic conditions and be aware of the conditions before setting out on a trip.
The RSA has issued the following advice.
When driving in wet and flooded conditions, drivers are reminded 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
- Take special care when driving behind goods vehicles as they generate a considerable amount of spray which reduces your visibility
- Allow extra space between you and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists
- Drive with dipped headlights at all times
- Be aware of the danger of aquaplaning especially on roads with speed limits of 100 km/h and 120 km/h
- Check tyres and consider replacing them if the thread depth is below 3mm.
- 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
- 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.
When driving in ice and snow, drivers are reminded to:
- Watch out for "black ice." If the road looks polished or glossy it could be, black ice” one of winter's worst hazards: Black Ice is difficult to see! It is nearly transparent ice that often looks like a harmless puddle or is overlooked entirely. It can occur especially in sheltered / shaded areas on roads, under trees and adjacent to high walls.
- 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.
- Remove ALL snow from your vehicle before commencing your journey.
- In snow and icy conditions slow down, use all controls delicately and leave extra distance between you and the vehicle in front. Too much steering is bad and avoid harsh braking and harsh acceleration. Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Select a low gear when travelling downhill especially if through bends.
- Remember that heavy snowfall and rain reduce visibility. Use dipped headlights and decrease speed smoothly.
- Do not drive on the tail-lights of the vehicle in front (Target Fixing). This can give a false sense of security and you will be too close to be able to brake safely. In heavy fog, turn off your radio and let down your driver’s window a fraction, so as you can hear other traffic.
- Watch out for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and allow extra space.
Advice to Pedestrians & Cyclists;
- Be seen. Wear a high visibility jacket or reflective armband.
- Many slips and falls happen in places people regard as safe and secure, typically outside their front door, on the door step, on the path or while getting out of the car. It is very possible that a thin sheet of transparent ice or “Black Ice” is covering your pathway putting you at risk. When you approach a footpath or roadway that appears to be covered with ice, always use extreme caution.
Please also see our severe weather warning videos created in collaboration with Teresa Mannion with advice for driving in heavy rain, flooding and snow and icy conditions on our YouTube channel RSAIreland. 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