Road safety alert issued as Storm Jorge approaches

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has issued a road safety alert as the weather takes a turn for the worse over the weekend, with Storm Jorge approaching Ireland.

Two Status Orange warnings (both for wind) and two Status Yellow warnings (one for wind and one for rain) were issued yesterday, Thursday, February 27. These warnings will be in effect throughout tomorrow, Saturday, February 29, and for a time on Sunday.

The weather will likely make driving conditions hazardous, and the RSA is urging road users to exercise caution over the coming days.

Also Read: 2 Status Orange wind warnings issued for western seaboard

Road users in areas affected by the Status Orange wind warnings (counties Galway, Mayo, Clare, Kerry, Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo) are being advised to check local traffic conditions in their areas before taking to the road.

The RSA has outlined the following areas of concern for motorists to pay careful attention to:

  • Control of a vehicle may be affected by cross winds, particularly high-sided vehicles and motorcycles;
  • Beware of objects blown onto the road, and expect road conditions to change quickly;
  • Watch out for fallen or falling debris, and vehicles veering across the road;
  • Drivers should allow extra space between themselves and vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and motorcyclists, as they may be blown off-course;
  • Drivers need to slow-down in wet weather conditions, especially on high-speed roads such as dual carriageways and motorways, where there is increased danger of aquaplaning;
  • Choose another route if the road ahead is flooded – do not drive through a flood. Floods could be deeper than they appear, and trees and branches in the water may not be visible;
  • Drivers should always follow recommended routes and obey signs closing roads to traffic;
  • After going through water, drive slowly with your foot on the break pedal for a short distance, which helps to dry the brakes;
  • Drive with dipped headlights at all times.

The RSA is also offering particular advice to cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. This includes: wearing bright clothing with reflective armbands or a belt, as visibility for drivers will be reduced; taking special care when crossing the road or cycling in high winds; walking on footpaths where possible; and keeping an eye out for falling debris, especially in urban areas.

Additionally, if there is no footpath, pedestrians should walk on the right-hand side of the road, facing traffic, while cyclists should ensure that they and their bike 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 cloths that help you be seen.

Further advice on road use in severe weather can be found here.