There has been a good few changes in the weather over the last weeks, our weekly blog will give you a few precautions to help you take care when using the public roads in heavy rain and strong winds. These weather conditions can lead to flooding in several places. When travelling on public roads, it is advised to check local weather and traffic reports and heed any advice from local councils and An Garda Síochána regarding road conditions:
Please find out some useful tips that will help your journey:
- It takes longer to stop a vehicle on wet roads; so slow down to allow extra distance with the vehicle in front. At least 4 seconds are required between the vehicle, (use the 2 seconds rule & double it)
- Take special care when driving behind trucks or buses as they generate a considerable amount of spray which will reduces your visibility while driving.
- Watch out for vulnerable road users as such as pedestrians, cyclists & motorcyclist.
- Regardless if it is day or night, switch on your dipped headlights at all times, as visibility will become poor: Not parking/side lights or fogs lights.
- Check your tyres, be aware that the legal requirement is 0.6 mm, however it is advisable to change them in bad weather @ 3 mm. (Safety has no price).
- Be mindful of aquaplaning on roads where 100/120 km/h speeds apply. Aquaplaning occurs where the tyres thread will fill with water, as a result, you will risk to lose control of the vehicle.
- Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists make sure that roads users can see you by wearing- bright clothing with reflective armbands, a reflective belt or a high vis jacket.
- If the road ahead is flooded choose another route, do not attempt to drive through it. Flooded roads always are deeper that they actually appear.
- After driving through water, drive slowly with a light touch on the brake pedal for a short distance. This will help to dry out your brake pads & make your braking system dry.
- From time to time, some roads can be closed due to their fragile state after wet weather or because they are blocked by flooding. If it is the case, always follow instructions, obey road signs for your own safety.
- Be aware where rivers or streams may suddenly rise and flood, such as highway dips, bridge, and low areas. If a road is flooded as a result of a river bursting its banks be aware that the current could be stronger that you think & sweep your vehicle away. Do not under estimate the power of Nature.
- Be aware & watch out for washed out roads, soft roads, side margins & earth slides.
In strong windy conditions some advice that will help you to deal with those difficult weather conditions is:
- Watch out for falling & fallen debris on the public road. The vehicles veering across the road will alert you to the danger, react in good time as other roads users will too.
- Notify the Gardaí about fallen debris on the roadway. For your own safety, NEVER EVER stop on a motorway to remove debris. Leave it to the appropriate emergency people to deal with it.
- Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds. High sided vehicles, trailer & motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds
- Expect gusts at open areas, where gaps in high buildings and hedgerows can create a wind channel that will destabilise your course.
- Watch out for pedestrians and cyclists who can be blown off their courses.
- As a pedestrian, take extra care when near traffic or crossing the road in extremely windy conditions as sudden gusts can blow you on the path of an oncoming vehicle.
Over all, if you can avoid to travel on extreme weather forecast conditions, maybe you should postpone your journey unless it is urgent. Why take some unnecessary risks. Think twice before taking your journey on.
As a Learner Permit, Novice Permit or a Fully Qualified Permit & that you need to build up your confidence, as a professional driver ADI (Approved Driver Instructor) RSA register, you can book a driving lessons with us to build up your confidence to drive in extreme weather conditions. Book your lessons now https://www.castletownsom.com/contact/
Thank for reading our blog.
Castletown School of Motoring
ADI number 35 371