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Dublin: 10 °C Saturday 19 October, 2019

Motorists warned about dangers of soft tar mixing with rain when the weather inevitably changes

A greasy film, one which makes travel by car treacherous, may form on Irish roads as a consequence of melted tar mixing with rainwater

shutterstock_135035648 Source: Shutterstock/Panyajampatong

THE ROAD SAFETY Authority has warned motorists to be vigilant when the fine weather changes in the coming days.

Specifically, the RSA has told drivers to be aware of the dangers of melted tar mixing with rainwater to create hazardous surfaces.

The two weeks of daily temperatures hitting the high 20s has caused more than just a water shortage – Ireland’s roads have been softened throughout the Mediterranean fortnight.

That soft tar, combined with a deluge of rainwater, can lead to a situation where the road surface becomes dangerously greasy, something RSA CEO Moyagh Murdock is at pains to point out.

“Obviously we’ve had a long period of dry weather, and there are reports of a build-up of tar and grease as result of the tar melting,” Murdock said.

ROAD SAFETY 808_90519684 Moyagh Murdock Source: Sam Boal/

When that combines with rainwater then you’ll see a build up of a greasy film, and the road will become very unstable and a car can lose control even at low speeds.

She said the RSA is “urging” people to be aware that when the weather breaks, road conditions will likely become a lot more hazardous.

“They need to drop back on their speed, and be aware of changes in how they control their vehicle. They need to give themselves more stopping distance, give the car in front a lot more space, and just be aware that an unexpected reaction in your vehicle is something that can happen,” she added.

Murdock was speaking at the release of the RSA’s mid-year review figures, which showed a 3% increase in the number of road deaths in Ireland compared with the same period 12 months previously.

Ireland has been going through a fortnight of unbroken sunshine, with even a little humidity hard to come by, leading to most un-Irish drought-like conditions.

This week is forecast to see more of the same. However, cloud is expected to form in some parts of the country tomorrow, with some rain forecast for later in the day. In general, the high pressure that has been dominating the weather will gradually weaken, allowing some showers to break out.

By the weekend, a mix of scattered showers and sunny spells are expected.

Additional reporting Christina Finn

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