High winds are expected to hit Ireland from Thursday night
Motorists are being urged to adapt their driving in the coming days and to be on the lookout for vulnerable road users as high winds are expected to hit Ireland from Thursday night through to Saturday.
In advance of what would become Storm Callum should it make landfall, Met Eireann have issued a Status Orange wind warning for coastal counties, with heavy rainfall and stormy conditions also expected to begin overnight on Thursday.
While it appears that the west and north-west could experience the worst of the storm, motorists across Ireland are being advised that driving conditions could worsen significantly over the next 48 hours. Offaly is currently under a Status Yellow warning for wind with heavy rain also expected.
The AA is advising motorists to reduce their speed accordingly to improve their ability to maintain control of their vehicle when driving through areas affected by Storm Callum. Motorists are also being urged to allow extra space between themselves and other road users, particularly cyclists and pedestrians who could be blown off course by sudden gusts of wind.
“It may only be mid-October but it appears almost certain that Ireland is going to be hit by its third storm of the 2018/2019 winter season and it’s vital that we all take a look at our own road behaviour and adapt it accordingly to minimise incidents during this weather. High winds can be particularly dangerous as vulnerable road users can be blown off course and into the path of oncoming traffic meaning motorists must slow down in general and also allow extra distance when overtaking cyclists or pedestrians.” Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs stated.
“It’s also important to remember when driving on exposed roads, such as a motorway, that your own car could be re-directed by a sudden gust so you must make sure your focus is on the task of driving at all times. In particular, as the worst of this storm looks likely to hit overnight, motorists could wake up on Friday morning to debris and fallen trees on a number of routes.”
In advance of an expected surge in car breakdowns during the stormy weather, AA Rescue, the organisation’s breakdown assistance provider, will also be making additional resources available nationally, with particular focus being given to the west and north-west of Ireland. Before the change in weather, motorists are being encouraged to check the condition of their tyres and windshield wipers to ensure their car is ready for the challenging conditions.
“As of now we already have an Orange weather warning in place for coastal in place and, while we can’t predict the future, in the past where these warnings have been issued so far in advance there is a significant likelihood that at least parts of the country could be elevated to a Status Orange warning. Carrying out some basic car checks can greatly improve your own safety and that of other road users during the days ahead,” Faughnan added.
“Over the next few weeks and months we are likely to see driving conditions become more challenging so motorists need to check their cars are suitably prepared and also keep up to date with all the latest information as it emerges on these weather patterns in order to keep our roads safe.”