19 tips on driving in wet, windy weather and flooding

With heavy rain and strong winds forecast over the coming days, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) is advising all road users to take extra care using the roads.

The wind and rain will lead to localised flooding in places with Met Eireann stating that the midlands will be particularly affected.

The RSA advises the public to check local weather and traffic reports and heed any advice from local councils and An Garda Siochana regarding road conditions.

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, four seconds at a minimum (use the two-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 of poor visibility not parking/side lights and fog lights.
  • Check tyres and consider replacing them if the thread depth is below 3mm.
  • Be mindful of aquaplaning on roads where 100/120kmh speeds apply. Aquaplaning occurs where the tyre thread 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.
  • 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. Always follow recommended routes and obey road closure signs.
  • Be aware where rivers or streams may suddenly rise and flood, for example highway dips, bridge, and low areas.
  • If a road is flooded as a result of a river bursting its banks beware the current could be strong enough to sweep your vehicle away.
  • Watch out for washed out roads soft road side margins and earth slides.

The RSA also has the following advice to deal with windy conditions;

  • Watch out for falling/fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road and the reaction of other road users.
  • Notify the Gardaí about fallen debris on the roadway. Never stop on a motorway to remove debris.
  • Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds. High sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds.
  • Expect gusts at open areas, where gaps in high buildings and hedgerows create a wind channel.
  • Watch out for pedestrians and cyclists who may be blown off course.
  • Pedestrians should extra care when near traffic or crossing the road in extremely windy conditions as sudden gusts can blow you into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

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