Heavy rain in Munster and Leinster has caused major problems on the country’s roads today, according to the AA. Torrential downpours and some heavy localised flooding have been reported in Cork, Tipperary, Laois, Kildare, Wexford, Wicklow, Carlow, Meath and Dublin making driving conditions extremely hazardous.
“It has been a very dangerous day on the roads and we are urging all drivers to slow down, use your headlights and take extreme care.” Says Nicola Hudson of AA Roadwatch. “There has been localised flooding in many areas, and at this time of year fallen leaves can clog drains and lead to flooding on roads that you could encounter almost anywhere. Falling rain and road spray has also caused very poor visibility; this was particularly bad in the Portlaoise area and on the M7 and M8 motorways.”
Cork city and county were badly affected this morning, and the AA was called out to several vehicles stuck in flood water in Kinsale. The M8 was affected southbound at J17 Watergrasshill. There was flooding also on the N25 Carraigtwohill / Midleton road at Lynwen Lodge and Minister Hill. In Cobh there was flooding in the Lower Road and Ticnock area, and in the city the areas affected included Sundays Well Road, North Ring and Mayfield.
The AA is warning drivers to be especially careful on the Motorways as these driving conditions make those normally safe roads very hazardous. Road spray thrown up from the wheels reduces visibility. It can take you more than 170 metres to bring a car to a complete stop when you are travelling at 120kph, as we do on Motorways.
“We have also had a big increase in the number of breakdown call outs to the AA Rescue Service.” Says Hudson. “We had a number of cars overheating while stuck in traffic in heavy rain, notably at the scene of the roadworks on the N7 at Rathcoole. We also had flood call outs in Cork. Wet weather can cause problems with a car’s electrics, so a lot of drivers will find their cars struggling to start over the weekend.”The most important message is for drivers to slow down. Braking distances increase dramatically in wet conditions. It is especially important for drivers not to tailgate. Leave a long distance between yourself and the vehicle in front.
Take particular care to look out for cyclists and motorcyclists. Not only are conditions more difficult for these vulnerable road users, water beading on the glass of a car makes it more difficult for the driver to see out.
“It is all too easy not to see a bike when the car glass is wet and misted.” Says Hudson. “Check your blind spot with extra care when changing lanes.”
For up to the minute bulletins on road conditions, see www.aaroadwatch.ie
AA Tips for Driving in wet conditions: