Take care on the road as winter approaches

With winter fast approaching, extra care needs to be taken on the roads, particularly with greater falls of rainfall at this time of year.

The Road Safety Authority says drivers need to slow down and allow a greater braking distance between themselves and the vehicle in front in wet weather conditions. This is especially important on high speed roads such as dual carriageways and motorways where there is increased danger of aquaplaning.

In addition be wary of driving behind goods vehicles as they can produce a considerable amount of spray which reduces visibility,. The RSA says hold back to where the driver can see their mirrors.

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 people think. The verge may have subsided and there may also be 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 that have been put there by the local council or An Garda Síochána.

After going through water, drive slowly with the foot on the brake pedal for a short distance - this helps to dry the brakes. Drive with dipped headlights at all times.

Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists

Visibility and light is reduced in poor weather conditions, making pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists more vulnerable. To help to keep safe be sure to be seen by wearing bright clothing and consider wearing high visibility material

Walk on the right-hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths.

Cyclists should ensure they and their bikes 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 the cyclist to be seen, and should consider wearing high visibility material.

For advice on severe weather driving tips, advice is available on the RSA website or check out the RSA Facebook and Twitter pages.

Severe weather warning videos created in collaboration with Teresa Mannion are also available.

For more weather updates, visit Met Eireann’s website: www.met.ie


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