Road Safety Authority issues warning for motorists ahead of hail showers this weekend
Drivers have been warned of potentially "hazardous" road conditions this weekend.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has issued a warning for drivers, calling on them to be aware of the "dangers" posed by hailstones ahead of a Met Éireann forecast of wintry showers this coming Friday and Saturday.
The RSA's warning reads: "Hail is a common but unpredictable occurrence in Ireland and can lead to slippery and dangerous driving conditions.
"This is especially true on higher speed roads like dual carriageways or motorways."
The RSA says the difficulty with hail showers is their "unpredictability and localised nature".
It explains: "As a hail shower tracks across the country, it deposits a narrow band of ball bearing sized hailstones on the ground.
"Where the track of a shower crosses a road, drivers may suddenly pass from perfectly good road conditions onto a carpet of hailstones.
"This has the potential to catch drivers out if they do not immediately react to the hazardous driving conditions."
On account of this risk, the RSA has the following practical advice for drivers:
- If you encounter hailstones, reduce your speed - without breaking if possible. Warn other drivers by using your hazard warning lights.
- Driving slowly in a high gear will help your tyres maintain grip even as they move over the compacted pellets of ice.
- Accelerate and brake very gently and drive slowly on bends where the loss of control is more likely. Avoid sudden steering movements or hard braking.
- Keep an eye out for road markings that may become obscured and leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front.
Drivers are also advised to make sure their tyres are fit for purpose so they can cope better with challenging driving conditions.
Those getting behind the wheel can be alerted of any possible hail showers by checking forecasts and listening to travel bulletins before and during their journey.
To get tips for driving in severe weather and weather updates, visit the RSA's website or follow the RSA on social media.