Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Rain, rain, go away

When April comes, April showers arrive. Great news for gardeners and the general public alike. Good news – I hear you say, except for the inconvenience of wet shoes and frizzy hair. A suddenly very wet road surface increases the chances of slipping when braking or steering, which is a problem not just for motorists, but cyclists and motorcyclists too.
Rain makes the windows mist up in seconds, so adjust your heater controls before you set off. You don't want to be squinting through condensation, driving rain, and fiddling with controls when you should be concentrating on the road.
As in all bad weather, slow down.  In the rain your stopping distance should be at least doubled.  Giving yourself more space helps you to avoid spray, especially when following a large vehicle. And be especially cautious after prolonged dry spells – surface rain on dry roads is dangerously slippery.
Keep your eyes on the road ahead and plan your driving so that you can brake, accelerate and steer smoothly – harsh manoeuvres will unbalance the car. If you see pools or running water on the road, don't brake or accelerate into it. Ease off the accelerator as you cross it, grip the steering wheel firmly and steer straight ahead.
Avoid using cruise control on wet roads – it may create problems if you start to aquaplane.
In stormy conditions, it is more difficult to see other vehicles, road signs and the road itself. Make sure you can see and be seen. Put your lights on – whenever you use your wipers you probably also need your headlights. Before overtaking put your wipers on their fastest setting.

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