Driving In Typical Irish Weather

Rain, rain, and more rain.. With  4 Seasons in 1 day Irish weather make driving conditions hazardous. This is how to deal with it:

 

Stopping Distances

Dry one minute, wet the next, then all of a sudden the snow is sticking. Irish weather can be extremely unreliable so it is absolutely necessary to be aware of the changes and to react accordingly when you find yourself driving through any 1 of the 4 seasons. Being aware of the change in climate will potentially save you or somebody else’s life.
  • Dry – Use the 2 Second rule to gauge the normal stopping distance, you should leave at least a bus length gap between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
  • Rain – Increase stopping distance to twice the normal stopping distance, slow down, Use wipers to clear your view of the road.
  • Ice – Increase stopping distance to ten times the normal stopping distance, drive with extreme caution, avoid unnecessary journeys.

 

The 2 Second Rule

The 2 second rule is a good way to gauge how much distance you should keep between your car and the car or vehicle in front of you.
  • Pick a fixated object in your view such as a road sign or lamppost. The moment the vehicle in front of you reaches the the object you will say the following sentence: “Only a fool breaks the 2 second rule”. If done correctly by the time you finish your sentence you should now be passing the object yourself.  If you reach the object before the end of the sentence you have broken the 2 second rule meaning you are following too close to the vehicle in front.

Preparation

Before popping out to do the food shopping you must ensure your vehicle is safe for use. Simple daily checks that should be observed but are often overlooked may be the difference in avoiding a collision.
  1. Check tyre thread depth is thick enough and that there are no chunks of rubber missing from the wall of your tyres that may compromise the performance when starting or stopping.
  2. Check all brake lights are working as these typically will not appear on your dash when a bulb blows.
  3. Check right and left indicators are working as you will most definitely need them.
  4. Check underneath the car for any spots of oil that may be leaking indicating an oil leak.
  5. Check that there are no warning lights on your dash before starting your journey.
  6. Check that you have enough fuel for your intended journey.

Be aware of aquaplaning:

Aquaplaning occurs when your tires lose contact with the road due to water build up. If you feel your steering becomes light, steer in the direction of the skid and ease off the accelerator.
  • Aquaplaning can occur when the road has been wet or if it is raining.

Windshield wipers:

Keep your windshield wipers in good condition and use them as needed in rainy or snowy conditions.
  • Make sure that you are familiar with your windshield wiper controls as these may differ from car to car.
  • Keep these in good condition as they are the only thing to clear your line of visibility when the conditions are not good.
  • If your wipers are screeching against your windshield this is an indication that it is time to replace them for new ones.

Pedestrians and other road users:

Be hyper alert of other road users around you.
  • It is easy to lose focus of other road users when you are trying to clear your line of vision by turning your wipers on and off or trying to find the right speed setting.
  • Also when possible if there is a lot of water build up on the road, keep some space between the nearside of your car and the curb when passing pedestrians on the footpath. The last thing you need on a miserable day like that is a fine for splashing pedestrians!

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