April this year has been true to the adage ‘April showers’ with days of sunny weather followed by sudden heavy showers, but this does cause a road safety hazard when it comes to driving in these wet and dry conditions.
April showers are not just an ‘old wives tale’ though; the heavy showers are caused by the jet stream which starts to move northwards in early spring which allows large depressions to bring strong winds and rain from the Atlantic. So in just one day the weather can swing from spring like sunshine to wintery sleet and rain.
Rain after a dry period can cause surfaces to become dangerously slippery and causing a headache for motorists. There are some recommendations to follow however in order to avoid having an accident, including keeping in mind that both visibility and stopping times will be reduced.
If you get caught in a heavy shower, visibility will be reduced so slow down to the point where you can stop within the distance you can see to be clear and drive to the road conditions. When roads are wet, stopping distances will be far longer than on dry roads, you should allow at least twice as much time as usual to stop around four seconds.
It sounds obvious but make sure you have plenty of tread on your tyres for optimum grip in the wet, this should be a regular check that we do but so often we forget to look.
Think about replacing those dodgy squeaky windscreen wipers that have been smearing for a while with new wipers to help you cope with unexpected showers. Keeping your windscreen bottle topped up with water and screen wash is a good idea, there is nothing worse than running out when you need to clear your windscreen. Even if the sun does come out after a shower there is still the dirty spray from other road users’ tyres. As the weather warms up dead flies on the windscreen are a particular issue and smear horribly when wipers are used. If you clean the inside and outside of the screen regularly, you won't get caught out in the April showers.
Checking your car on a regular basis and ensuring you drive to the road conditions, you can prevent a nasty accident and a claim on your car insurance. Remember car insurance premiums will go up if you claim on your car insurance and even a little bump can be an expensive.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, another popular saying is ‘April showers bring May flowers’ so we have something to look forward to!
Posted: 17/04/2012 16:36:52
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