The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is today, Friday 12 May, advising drivers and motorcycle riders to take extra care using the roads as the recent dry weather spell breaks and heavy rain is expected across the country over the coming days.
During a prolonged dry spell a build-up of oil and rubber deposit develops on the road. When the weather breaks, this deposit mixes with rainwater and the road becomes hazardous. The resulting greasy road surface increases stopping distances and the risk of a skid. Drivers and motorcycle riders can get caught out with this change in road conditions so the advice is to slow down and increase braking distance.
Met Eireann are specifically warning of up to 30 – 40 mm of rainfall in counties Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois and Offaly over the next 24 hours.
General tips for road users in the wet conditions include:
• It takes longer to stop a vehicle on wet roads so slow down and allow extra distance between you and the vehicle in front, 4 seconds at a minimum (use the 2 second rule and repeat it twice).
• 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 tyres and replace them if the thread depth is below 3mm.
• Be mindful of Aquaplaning on roads where 100/120kmh speeds apply. Aquaplaning occurs where the tyre thread fill with water and the driver is at risk of losing control of the vehicle.
• Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are advised to be seen. Wear bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective belt.
Further advice on using the road in severe weather can be found at the RSA’s website