The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is today, Friday 1st June, advising all road users to take extra care using the roads, as heavy rain is expected across the country over the weekend. The heavy rainfall of between 25 and 65 mm will initially affect the Southwest on Saturday, gradually extending Northeastwards by evening. It will slowly clear Southwards later Sunday. Accumulations may lead to excess surface water on roads and some flooding in places.
Mr Noel Brett, CEO, Road Safety Authority also cautioned that the roads will be particularly hazardous after the recent dry spell, “after prolonged periods of dry weather there tends to be a build-up of oil and rubber deposit on the road. When this deposit mixes with rainwater it increases the risk of a skid and increases your stopping distance. Our advice is to slow down and increase your braking distance.”
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 of poor visibility not parking/side lights and fog lights
• Check tyres and replace 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.
• 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.
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.
Further advice on using the road in severe weather can be found at the RSA’s website;