Following weather warnings from Met Éireann as Storm Francis approaches, motorists are asked to exercise caution while driving.

A Status Orange rainfall warning, which covers Connacht, Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Wexford, Cork, Kerry and Waterford is valid from 9pm this evening until 5pm tomorrow.

Meanwhile, a Status Yellow wind warning for Munster, Dublin, Wexford and Wicklow will be in place from 6am tomorrow until 7pm.

A Status Yellow rainfall warning for Dublin, Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Wicklow, Offaly, Westmeath, Meath, Clare, Limerick and Tipperary is valid from 9pm this evening for 24 hours. 

It says that intense rainfall is expected to lead to accumulations of 30 to 55mm with surface flooding.

The Road Safety Authority says that the storm has the potential to make road conditions even more hazardous, and advised motorists of the following:

  • Drivers need to slow down and leave a bigger space between themselves and the vehicle in front in wet weather conditions. This is especially important on high speed roads such as dual carriageways and motorways where there is increased danger of aquaplaning.
  • If the road ahead is flooded choose another route, do not attempt to drive through it. Flooded roads that appear shallow could be deeper than you think. They may also have trees or branches that have fallen that may not be visible.
  • Road users should always follow recommended routes and obey signs closing roads to traffic.
  • After going through water, drive slowly with your foot on the brake pedal for a short distance - this helps to dry the brakes.
  • Drive with dipped headlights at all times.
  • Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds. High sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds.
  • Beware of objects being blown onto the road. Expect road conditions to change quickly in high winds so reduce your speed.
  • Watch out for falling/fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road.
  • Drivers should allow extra space between themselves and vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and motorcyclists as they may be blown off course by strong winds.

The Road Safety Authority has also issued advice for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists: 

  • Visibility and light is reduced in poor weather conditions. Keep safe by making sure you can be seen. Wear bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective belt.
  • Take extra care when crossing the road or cycling in extremely windy conditions as a sudden gust of wind could blow you into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
  • Walk on a footpath, where possible and not in the street. If there is a footpath and it is safe to use, look out for falling debris from above, especially in urban areas.
  • Walk on the right-hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths.
  • Cyclist should ensure that they and their bike are visible to other road users by investing in a good set of front and rear lights (white at the front, red at the back) and by wearing clothes that help you be seen on your bike such as bright and light reflective items.