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23rd Jul 2021

RSA warns of “hazardous” road conditions as heatwave set to end

Stephen Porzio

Take note, drivers.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has urged drivers and motorcyclists to take extra care using the roads as Ireland’s heatwave ends and rain is expected across parts of the country in the coming days.

It said that during a prolonged spell of dry weather, a build-up of oil and rubber deposit develops on roads. As the weather then breaks, these deposits mix with rainwater, resulting in greasy road surfaces.

The RSA states that in such conditions the road becomes “hazardous”, increasing stopping distances and the risk of a skid.

As such, the advice for drivers and motorcycle riders is to “slow down and increase braking distance”.

The RSA’s tips for road users driving in the changing conditions are listed below:

  • It takes longer to stop a vehicle on wet roads. As such, slow down and allow extra distance between you and the vehicle in front. Four seconds at a minimum is advised.
  • 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 your tyres and replace them if the tread depth is below 3mm.
  • Be mindful of aquaplaning on roads where 100/120kmh speeds apply. This occurs when the tyre tread fills with water and the driver is at risk of losing control of the vehicle.
  • Drivers should slow and leave plenty of space when passing pedestrians and cyclists.

Further advice on using the road in severe weather can be found at the RSA’s website here.

Met Éireann, meanwhile, has issued a Status Yellow thunderstorm and rain warning for Ireland.

Valid from shortly after 1pm on Friday until 8pm, the forecaster says there will be thunderstorms in places this afternoon and evening, along with lightning, hail and heavy downpours.

This will result in localised flooding and hazardous driving conditions, Met Éireann also said.

The counties most at risk of thunderstorms and rain are Clare, Galway, Kildare, Laois, Mayo, Offaly, Roscommon, Tipperary and Wicklow.