11 December 2016

Rain, rain, go away

Navigating UAE roads in bad weather

They say the sun shines 365 days a year in the UAE, which is one of the many reasons why people love to live here. But all that great weather can leave people panicking and unprepared when rain and fog strike.

A surprise rainstorm in a particularly dry country can create havoc when you’re trying to drive. Even with the reduced visibility and traction that comes with wet-weather driving, many of these accidents are preventable. Here are some tips on how to stay safe and reduce risk in adverse weather.

Be prepared

Keeping your car in tip-top condition and driving carefully all year round means you’re always prepared for any surprises:

  • Check your brakes are working effectively, your tyres are in good condition and your tyre pressure is correct
  • Make sure your windshield wiper blades are working – you don’t want to test them in a storm!
  • Check your lights are working, including your fog light
  • Always wear your seatbelt
  • Don't talk on your mobile phone when you’re driving – it can wait
  • Never park under trees, electric poles, billboards or near construction sites
  • Always store a hazard warning triangle in the boot of your car
  • Keep an appropriate distance between you and the car in front of you
Driving during storms

Driving in the rain presents challenges, especially in a country that isn’t used to a downpour, but it’s not impossible. Here are some simple rules to remember:

  • In rain your wipers and lights should be on so that other drivers can easily see you
  • Increased speed increases the risks, so slow it down
  • If your car starts to skid in wet weather, it’s important to resist the natural instinct to slam on the brakes. Using breaks could lock the wheels and eliminate your control, making the situation worse. Gain control by steering in the opposite direction of the skid while pumping your brakes to gradually reduce speed
  • Use caution when crossing puddles – even in an SUV, as you often can’t tell how deep running water is as there may be potholes below the surface
Driving in fog

Fog can descend quickly and surprise us when we least expect it. Here are some simple things you can do to avoid getting into trouble:

  • Drive slowly, well below the speed limit
  • Double the space between your vehicle and vehicles ahead of you
  • Park the car on the side of the road if visibility is too poor for driving
  • Turn off your emergency lights but switch on your fog lights
  • Never set off driving in thick fog, instead wait for it to clear

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