Difficult driving conditions
As Storm Hannah bears down the AA Rescue Team has issued advice to motorists who have to drive to the strong winds and rain it is set to bring.
Met Éireann has issued Orange warnings for counties the Atlantic and Irish Sea coast and Tipperary. Yellow warnings are also in place for many other counties.
Winds are set to exceed 130 kmph in parts with widespread rain also on the cards.
It says that when driving in strong winds it’s important to adapt your behaviour to the weather conditions. It urges motorists to be on the lookout for vulnerable road users who could be blown off course and for fallen trees which could cause significant damage.
To help you stay safe on the road, the AA Rescue team have put together some tips on how to adapt your driving during strong winds.
- Keep both hands on the wheel.
- Be ready for stronger winds and gusts on exposed stretches of road or when passing high-sided vehicles. For example, during strong gusts it can take up to 170metres to bring your car to a complete halt if driving at 120km/h, the current speed limit on a motorway.
- Keep your speed down, not only will this give you more time to react if anything happens on the road ahead of you, but it will also make it less likely for your car to be blown off course by strong gusts.
- Take care and leave extra room around cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists. These road users are particularly exposed to the elements and at a greater risk of being blown off course. Avoid overtaking them where possible but if you must be sure to allow extra distance.
-Allow extra stopping distance between you and the car in front of you and exercise additional caution when overtaking, especially when passing high-sided vehicles and caravans.
- Watch out for debris on the road. Coming across twigs or small branches on the road could indicate that a tree or large branch has fallen on the road ahead of you. Similarly, partially fallen trees can hang above the sweep of your headlights. This can make them more difficult to spot when driving at night.
-In the days immediately following strong winds, some trees which were weakened by the gusts could fall so it’s important to be vigilant even after the winds have eased.
- Plan your journey carefully, checking weather and AA Roadwatch updates regularly.
The Gardaí, the Road Safety Authority and Met Éireann have also warned about driving in the storm.
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