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RSA issues road safety alert

The Road Safety Authority (RSA), today January 17th 2013 is alerting road users of very changeable weather conditions over the coming days and of the need to take particular care when using the roads.

Met Éireann has forecast very heavy rainfall across the country this afternoon and evening leading to a risk of localised flooding. The heavy rain will be accompanied by strong to near gale force and gusty southeasterly winds.  Rain may turn to sleet and snow later tonight and towards dawn.  Leinster and Munster will be most at risk with further snowfall on Friday with accumulations likely on higher ground. Outbreaks of rain, sleet and snow are to die out over Ulster parts of NE Connaught and NE Leinster as the night turns very cold with widespread frost and icy patches likely.

Temperatures are set to drop over the weekend with highest daytime temperatures ranging from 1 to 6 degrees. Saturday is forecast to stay mainly dry with severe air and ground frost developing overnight.  A bitterly cold day on Sunday with strong to gale force easterly winds forecast.  Heavy rain and sleet will move over Munster and Leinster Sunday afternoon, turning to sleet and snow as the evening progresses.

Mr. Noel Brett, Chief Executive Officer, RSA said “The changeable weather that’s being forecast for the coming days will present some very challenging road conditions for road users.  It’s important to check your local weather forecast ahead of making your journey.  As visibility is greatly reduced while travelling in heavy rain or sleet and snow remember to use your dipped headlights, keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front and allow a greater braking distance.”

Mr. Brett added “We encourage road users to slow down and allow extra time to complete your journey.  As temperatures drop and frost develops overnight be aware of the risk of black ice on the roads.  Vulnerable road users need to be especially careful on the road and should take every precaution to stay safe such as wearing a hi-viz jacket or carrying a torch. ”

The RSA has issued the following advice to road users;

Flooding & Gale Force Winds
Monitor radio weather and traffic broadcasts while travelling and heed any Garda messages.
It takes longer to stop a vehicle on wet roads so slow down and allow extra distance between you and the vehicle in front. The 2 second rule becomes the 4 second rule in bad weather and poor visibility according to the conditions.
Take special care when driving behind goods vehicles as they generate