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Stay safe when driving in heavy rain

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Met Éireann warn of widespread and heavy rain around the country today so we have some tips for safely driving in heavy rain writes Geraldine Herbert

Met Éireann is forecasting as much as 40mm of rain to fall in some counties around the country between 8pm on Tuesday and 6am on Wednesday morning.

  • Slow down! It takes longer to stop in wet weather.
  • Try to avoid areas which are prone to flooding,
  • Allow for slower speeds, delays and potential congestion so give yourself extra time.
  • Leave more space between you and the car in front to account for greater stopping distances and particularly from large trucks or buses – the spray from their tyres can block your vision and make it extremely difficult to see.
  • Turn your headlights on.
  • Avoid using your brakes; if possible, take your foot off the accelerator to slow down.
  • Keep a sharp lookout for pedestrians.

 

If you do encounter 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.

 

Geraldine Herbert

19th May, 2017

 

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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