Driving in bad weather - here's a few tips

Noel Dundon

Reporter:

Noel Dundon

Email:

nd@tipperarystar.ie

flood_sign_warning

Driving a car in bad weather or floods can be very tricky

Driving through a flood can have a big affect on your car

As the Met Office has issued heavy rain across Tipperary this coming week, the main piece of advice is if you can avoid travelling during a storm, then do.


Flash flooding can occur in minutes and you may well be driving around a bend and be confronted with an unwanted and unexpected surprise in the form of a pool of water which simply cannot drain off the roadside fast enough.
So, as always, driving on the road requires great caution, and driving on wet and flood prone roads, can prove even more treacherous.


If you are caught out or need to drive, be prepared to pull over if it starts to become hazardous and wait for it to be safe.
Do not drive into a flood, and if you can, avoid driving directly through puddles.
If you have to drive, allow more time so you can take it slowly and stop if you need.


Always keep both hands on the wheel and slow down to maintain control of the car. Winds and rain can be so persistent they can cause your car to drift or veer with no warning, make sure you have the appropriate light settings on, therefore allowing other people to see you more clearly.


Driving slowly will also increase the distance between you and the driver in front as you may lose visibility. Always reduce your speed slowly and avoid harsh braking or sharp steering.


When braking is essential, keep it smooth and gentle - being aware and anticipating the road ahead is the key. If you start to skid or lose control, release the brakes and turn smoothly into the slide (ie if the rear is skidding right, gently steer right).
If you live in an area that is prone to flooding and you’re unable to move your vehicle, don’t try to start it if your car is submerged. Drain the water if you can and allow the vehicle to dry out as much as possible.


The damage caused to a vehicle which has stopped in a flood can be very considerable and very costly. Indeed, many cars are written off each year as a result of drivers attempting to get through floods and the water ending up in their engine system which can be irrepairable. So, be warned -driving in very wet conditions brings many hazards.