The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is asking road users to exercise caution while using the roads on Thursday as Met Éireann have issued a yellow weather warning for strong winds for Wednesday and Thursday. Strong winds with speeds of 50-65km/hr and gusts of 90-110km/hr are expected for Donegal, Galway, Mayo and Kerry from 6am until 11pm today, Wednesday, 6 December. A second weather warning for strong winds with speeds of 55-65km/hr and gusts of 100-110km/hr are forecast for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare and Kerry from 3am until 8pm on Thursday, 7 December. Winds are expected to be strongest in coastal areas and over high ground.The RSA is asking road users to check local weather and traffic conditions and be aware of the conditions before setting out on a trip.
The RSA has the following advice for road users:
· Beware of objects being blown out onto the road. Expect the unexpected.
· Watch out for falling/fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road
· Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds. High sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds
· Allow extra space between you and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists
· Drive with dipped headlights at all times
· Check tyres and consider replacing them if the thread depth is below 3mm.
· It takes longer to stop in wet conditions so slow down and leave extra space between you and the vehicle in front
· Take special care when driving behind goods vehicles as they generate a considerable amount of spray which reduces your visibility
· Be aware of the danger of aquaplaning especially on roads with speed limits of 100 km/h and 120 km/hs
5 Tips for Riding Your Motorcycle in the Wind
Whether you see a windy weather forecast before riding out, or you’re already on the road when the wind speeds up, you’ll want to be prepared. Here are five tips to keep you safe and balanced during gusts or prevailing winds on your bike.
Gear up. Seasoned riders nickname this rule ATGATT — all the gear, all the time — and it’s especially important in the wind. Eye protection such as a full face shield with your motorcycle helmet is key for making sure you maintain visibility and focus when a gust comes along. Wind chill can affect you even in warm weather. When your body temperature drops, so does your level of focus, so don’t forget to layer up against the wind.
Watch your mirrors. You and your bike will naturally tend to lean into the force of the wind to correct your position and stay straight. What you’ll notice is your rearview mirrors bend with the wind as well. Stay alert, adjust your mirrors accordingly, or do direct sight checks to compensate.
Don’t overcorrect. Say a gust hits you from the left. When the gust is over, it can feel like a second force coming at you from the right. That’s why it’s so important to stay calm, make minor adjustments and drift slowly back so your ride stays safe and smooth.
Use a firm, relaxed grip. White-knuckling never helps any situation on the road. Keep a firm but relaxed grip on your handlebars so you can adjust your movements in the wind without overcorrecting.
Stay in the center of the lane. Even if the wind seems like it’s only coming from one direction, it’s a good idea to stay in the center of your lane. That’s because when the wind hits bigger obstacles like semi-trucks or an overpass, it gets deflected in different directions. When you stay in the center, you can more easily avoid slipping into another lane or a bumpy shoulder.