Hurricane Ophelia - Driving advice from Road Safety Authority

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

Tree at Block Road, Portlaoise block road.

Tree at Block Road, Portlaoise block road.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA), is asking road users to exercise caution if they have to travel on Monday as Hurricane Ophelia hits Ireland.

The RSA has the following advice for road users when travelling in strong winds:

- Beware of objects being blown out onto the road. Expect the unexpected. Watch out for falling/fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road. Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds. High sided vehicles, motorcyclists and cyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds
- Drivers should allow extra space allow between themselves and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists as they may be blown off course by strong winds.
- Use dipped headlights at all times

With added risks posed by wet or flooded roads the RSA has the following advice;

- It takes longer to stop a vehicle on wet roads so slow down and allow extra distance between you and the vehicle in front
Take special care when driving behind goods vehicles as they generate a considerable amount of spray which reduces your visibility
- Be aware of the danger of aquaplaning especially on roads with speed limits of 100 km/h and 120 km/h
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
- Road users should always follow recommended routes and obey signs closing roads to traffic
- Check tyres and consider replacing them if the thread depth is below 3mm.

Advice to Pedestrians & Cyclists

- Be seen. Wear bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective belt.
- Take extra care when crossing the road or cycling in extremely windy conditions as a sudden gust of wind could blow you into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
- Walk on a footpath, not in the street. Walk on the right hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths.

See new severe weather warning videos created in collaboration with Teresa Mannion here