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Increase Your Braking Distance

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) are advising drivers and motorcyclists to take extra care using the roads at this present time.

The past prolonged dry spell of weather has allowed for the build-up of oil and rubber deposit to develop on road surfaces. Now with the weather breaking, these deposits when mixed with the recent heavy rainwater, results in a greasy road surface, which in turn reduces the expected length of stopping distances between you and the vehicle ahead, plus the risk of skids. The Road Safety Authority are therefore asking drivers, using our roads, to become aware of these present dangers and to slow down, while increasing your braking distance.

General Safety Tips for Road Users:

  • Remember it takes longer to stop a vehicle on wet roads. In this event, do slow down and allow that extra distance between you and the vehicle you are behind.
  • Take particular care when driving behind larger vehicles, e.g. trucks or buses; since they usually generate a considerable amount of spray, thus often reducing visibility on driver bringing up the rear.
  • Watch out for other vulnerable road users e.g. pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. Remember there is also an onus also on pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists to be seen, so wear bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective belt.
  • During periods of poor visibility, use dipped headlights at all times. Poor drivers will tell you that headlights are fitted to cars so that you can see where you are going in the dark. Wise drivers, on the other hand, will tell you that headlights let you see and be seen in good time. (Logically, in conditions of poor visibility, if you cannot be seen clearly from behind then just one day it is inevitable that your vehicle will be hit, and the cause of this rear collision might just be an 18-wheeler.)
  • Check your tyres and replace them, if the thread depth is below 3mm.
  • Be mindful of ‘aquaplaning’ or ‘hydroplaning’ by all wheeled vehicles particularly on roads where 100/120kmh speeds apply. Note: Same occurs when a layer of water builds between the wheels of the vehicle and the road surface, leading to a loss of traction that prevents the vehicle from responding to normal control inputs.

Visit the RSA’s website HERE for further advice when using the road in severe weather conditions.

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