Wednesday 18 July 2018

'Greater chance of collision' - RSA warns expected rains will cause greasy roads

M50 motorway
M50 motorway

Payu Tiwari

The Road Safety Authority has warned drivers to be cautious and watch out for a change in road conditions caused by the upcoming weather break, which will make the roads more slippery.

The dry weather of the past few weeks is expected to undergo a change come next week, during which the RSA insists that drivers have to be “cautious” and “on guard” on the road.

“What happens after a really long dry spell is that you get a build up of tar oil and rubber deposit on the road,” said Brian Farrell from the RSA.

“When these deposits are not cleared, they build up. Hence, when the rainfall arrives,  these deposits mix with water and make the road slippery.”

Farrell warned that drivers are used to driving in a certain condition, and might get into a “false sense of security.”

“Drivers will be dealing with more greasy roads. They have to make changes in their behaviour, they have to be on guard,” he said. He suggests two ways to adjust to new driving conditions. “They have to slow down to a greater degree, and they will have to keep more distance between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them.”

Farrell says that high speed roads like motorways carry a greater risk when it comes to driving on greasy roads. “The faster you go, the longer it takes for you to stop your vehicle. 100 km/120 km per hour roads, hence, pose a greater risk.”

However, this does not make the slower roads, or roads in towns and villages immune to the risks caused by a change in the weather conditions.

“Maybe the vehicles are on a lower speed, but there is a greater chance of a collision with a pedestrian or a cyclist,” Farrell said.

RSA wants people to watch out and be on guard, as rains are expected to roll back around by next week.

Met Eireann has extended the drought warning for the country till Friday this week, but there will be “more rain around by next week,” according to a forecaster.

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