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Driving in Extreme Weather Conditions

Met Éireann has warned of strong winds and heavy bursts of rain as Storm Helene heads our way so we have some tips for driving in extreme weather

Windy weather

  • Plan your journey – is there a route with less exposure to the weather and less risk of fallen trees?  Choose a sheltered route if you have the option.
  • Be aware of the danger posed by debris that may have blown into the roadway.
  • Wind rarely blows steadily, and a sudden gust can catch out even the most experienced driver. Expect sudden gusts at any time, but particularly on open stretches of road, when passing bridges or gaps in hedges or when overtaking high-sided vehicles. Make sure both hands are in the correct position on the wheel.
  • High-sided vehicles are most affected by windy weather, so be aware that strong gusts can blow them into your path, but high gusts can also throw a car off particularly aware of this on open stretches of road exposed to strong cross winds.
  • Be aware that your car may be affected by turbulence created by large vehicles, so keep well back from them and take extra caution when overtaking.

 

Heavy rain and floods

  • Drive on the highest section of the road and don’t set off if a vehicle is approaching you
  • Leave time and space to avoid swamping other cars and pedestrians
  • Drive slowly and keep going once you have started – make sure you have a clear run. In a manual car, keep the revs high by “slipping the clutch” (which means the clutch is not fully engaged) all the time you are in the water
  • If you can’t see where you are going to come out of the water, such as when approaching flooding on a bend, think twice about starting to drive into it
  • In deep water never take your foot off the accelerator, as this could allow water to travel up the exhaust pipe
  • Once you’re out of the water, dry the brakes before you need them. The best way is to lightly apply the brake as you drive along for a few seconds, after checking nothing is following you too closely

 

For more driving advice check out our Driving Tips Section  here

 

 Geraldine Herbert

17th September, 2018

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Contributing Editor and Motoring Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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