It’s that time of the year we all love – summertime! But the Irish summer is a temperamental, unpredictable creature. We might get two, even three glorious weeks of hot, sunny weather, but then, just as we’re getting used to wandering around in shorts and t-shirts and starting to believe that it could actually last all summer, the dark and gloomy rain returns with a vengeance. The shorts get shoved back in the drawer (not to be seen again for another year) and the rain jacket and woolly jumpers come back out.
Apart from leaving us all starved of sunshine and looking pretty pale, our unpredictable Irish summers have more serious affects our driving conditions, making our roads increasingly dangerous. Chief Examiner of Irish Advanced Motorists (IAM) Peter Rodgers explains: “Rain after a long period of dry weather makes the road surface extremely slippery. A combination of oil, loose gravel and dried rubber all prevent the tyres working efficiently. ”
So how what can we stay safe while driving in heavy downpours and on wet roads? First of all – slow down. Stopping distances are far longer than on dry roads. We’ve all heard the saying “Only a fool breaks the two second rule” but in wet conditions this is not the case. In wet conditions, you need to increase it to a four second rule – this means that when the person driving in front of you passes a certain point on the road, you should be able to count to four before you pass the same point.
Heavy downpours also dramatically reduce visibility. It is crucial to make sure you can see the road ahead and make sure you can be seen by other drivers. So turn on your head lights and make yourself visible.
If your windscreen wipers have seen better days, you should consider getting a new set, as new wipers will cope better with heavy rainfall. You could also consider buying a product that helps keep rain off your windscreen, such as rain repellent – this should increase the lifetime of your windscreen wipers. It also helps to regularly clean the inside and outside of your windscreen – including the disgusting task of removing any dead flies and bird poop!
As an AXA customer you get a 15% discount on most items in Halfords, as part of our AXA Plus loyalty programme. So if you’ve been meaning to dump your old windscreen wipers or spruce up your car a bit, there’s never been a better time to do it!
Brought to you by AXA Car Insurance Ireland