AA Warns Motorists As Storm Helene Weather Warning Extended

AA Ireland is warning motorists to exercise additional caution in the coming days as large amounts of rainfall are expected as the remnants of tropical Storm Helene pass over Ireland.

The warning to motorists came after Met Eireann extended a Status Yellow – Rainfall warning to five counties, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal, which will remain in place from 13:00 on Monday, 17 September until 05:00 on Tuesday, 18 September. AA Ireland is calling on drivers in the affected counties to adapt their driving to suit the weather conditions and to be on the lookout for vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians as visibility could be reduced during heavy rain.

“The expectation with this storm, according to Met Eireann, is that we will have a large volume of rainfall in quite a short space of time meaning that the risk of flooding in the affected areas is quite high,” Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs stated. “When you combine this with the lengthy, mostly dry spell of weather we’ve had recently motorists can expect roads in the affected areas to be significantly more slippery meaning that slowing down and slowing extra distance between yourself and other road users, especially vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians, will be vital.”

“Driving in heavy rain is something that motorists across the country are well practiced in and ultimately it does not appear that Helene will bring weather conditions anywhere near as serious as what parts of the country saw last year with Ophelia. That said, however, we can’t get complacent where road safety is concerned so it’s important that motorists adapt their driving to the conditions”

With a significant risk of flooding expected, particularly in the west of the country, AA Rescue, the motoring organisation’s breakdown assistance provider, is expecting a spike in breakdown callouts as flood water often pose a danger to a car’s electrics and the engine.

“Where possible motorists should avoid driving through flood water but if you have no alternative remember to drop your speed and use a lower gear to help protect your car. Driving through flood water at high speeds is not only inconsiderate but can also result in the air intake of your car drawing water into the engine which can cause significant and expensive damage,” Faughnan added. “We would also encourage motorists who do breakdown in the coming days to keep the bonnet closed while you wait for assistance if it is raining heavily. Leaving the bonnet open could make the engine significantly more difficult to start when assistance arrives.”

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