Published on May 3rd, 2017 | by SellAnyCar.com Team
Safe Practices for Driving in the UAE’s Bad Weather
As the UAE gets hit by serious thunderstorms, rain and hailstorms much frequently than ever before, it’s time to learn about some safe practices of driving in bad weather. Driving in bad weather can be troublesome for many drivers as it is entirely different to driving in normal weather conditions. It requires a driver to make some fine and major adjustments while driving, like being more vigilant of the surroundings and avoiding some habitual mistakes that can be avoided when driving in the normal weather.
Before discussing what makes driving in bad weather so difficult and learning what safety measures need to be adopted to drive safe in such weather, let’s first understand what could make weather bad.
What is Bad Weather?
When the normal weather in an area is affected by severe conditions like heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, hailstorms, crosswinds, sandstorms, extreme foggy conditions or massive snowfall, it is referred to as bad weather. The bad weather in the UAE usually refers to cyclic sandstorms or heavy fog in winters, but in recent times, the weather of the UAE has seen a complete paradigm shift, witnessing heavier rains than ever before and occasional instances of the hailstorm.
How Bad Weather has Affected Road Safety in the UAE
Weather related car crashes are quite common all over the world and it is also a major concern in the UAE. In January 2015, heavy rains caused massive destruction and as many as 756 road accidents were recorded in 8 hours in the UAE. Then again in 2016, the bad weather caused hundreds of road accidents and dangerous road situations for motorists in Dubai. The bad weather has hit the UAE in 2017 as well and has been causing traffic delays and dangerous road incidents. In order to stay safe while driving in bad weather, it is very important to follow the safe driving protocols as it will not only make you safe but also will also improve the safety of others on the road.
Safe Practices for Driving in Bad Weather
Safe driving habits can help motorists avoid a serious road accident in bad weather and this is something all motorists must understand. From safe braking to driving at a moderate speed, there is plenty to learn in reference to safe driving practices.
Following are the tips for driving safely in adverse weather conditions:
Safe Practices for Driving in Rain
When driving in rain, you need to be careful of the handling and stability of your vehicle. Many dangerous situations can easily be avoided while driving in the rain by making little adjustments to the driving style.
Following are the safety practices to adopt while driving in the rain:
- Don’t drive at a high speed, in fact, reduce the speed by at least 5-10km/h than what you normally drive at. Driving too fast in rainy conditions can cause your car to hydroplane, making the car float on the water.
- In case your car hydroplanes, don’t panic as any sudden movement can cause your vehicle to spin which can be extremely dangerous. Just take your foot off the accelerator, keep steering wheel as straight as possible and let the vehicle coast. As the speed of the vehicle drops, it will stop floating on the water and the tyres will come in contact with the road surface again.
- Use the windshield wipers constantly in order to clear the windscreen of water or mud flying off the tyres of the vehicle at front or on the sides and maintain your focus on the road.
You should always be prepared for driving in rain as it can hit the UAE anytime during summer or winter. The following could be the preparatory measures to adopt for driving in the rain:
- Make sure that the lights of the car are working properly as visibility can get low in rain, thus making it difficult for you to see other vehicles and as well as making it difficult for other drivers to see your car.
- Use water repellent for windshield to clear your vision while driving in the rain.
- If possible, wear the polarized sunglasses which can actually enhance your vision while driving in the rain.
Safe Practices for Driving on Wet Roads
Whether caused by rain or a hailstorm, roads can get dangerously wet and this is where the risk of a fatal road accident can be maximum. In order to drive safely on wet roads, you must follow the practices listed below:
- Don’t drive too fast and give yourself an extra 20 to 30 minutes commute time than your normal routine so that you don’t rush to your destination.
- Be attentive on the road and avoid tailgating as you require more time to apply brakes on wet roads.
- Don’t use cruise control as it might accelerate your vehicle unnecessarily that can be very dangerous in wet conditions.
- Make the sensible use of the brakes in your car and don’t slam or forcefully apply the brakes while driving on wet roads. Instead, apply the brakes a little earlier than what you need and apply them slowly. This will help your car avoid skidding.
Also read: 9 Lifesaving Tips for Driving in the Rain
Safe Practices for Driving in a Hailstorm
While rains can be fairly dangerous to drive in, a hailstorm can pose an even greater threat to a driver’s safety. Given below are the safe practices for driving in a hailstorm.
- First of all, don’t drive at all if there is a forecast of a hailstorm in your area. But if you are out driving and get hit by a hailstorm, try finding a safe place to park your car. Parking under an overpass can be ideal in this scenario but if you can’t find a covered parking spot for your car, then get the car mats out and spread them on the windscreen to cover it in order to protect it.
- If you can find a parking spot which partially offers a shelter to your car, then park your car at an angle such that the windscreen is exposed to the hailstorm. The windscreen in cars is built to withstand the impact of pelting objects, while the back glass and side windows are more susceptible to breakage.
- Cover yourself with a blanket and lie down while keeping your back towards the windows in the car. This will help you save yourself from any potential hit by a pellet breaking through the windows.
Safe Practices for Driving in a Thunderstorm
While driving in a thunderstorm may seem a little less tricky than driving in a hailstorm, it has its own challenges that a driver can face. In thunderstorms, the visibility usually decreases and as heavy winds blow, the attention of driver gets seriously tested.
Following are the safety practices to adopt while driving in a thunderstorm:
- Allow yourself some extra time to reach your destination if you have to drive in a thunderstorm that was already in the forecast.
- Don’t rush and maintain focus while driving, don’t panic if an object flies into your vehicle.
- Pull over if the intensity of the wind increases as the probability of an accident increases when you drive in a windy thunderstorm.
- Don’t lose patience and be considerate of other drivers on the road as a bad weather can make anyone nervous while driving.
- Watch out for reckless drivers, yes, it might sound crazy but there are some drivers who don’t really care about bad weather and still drive fast like they normally do.
Important Car Safety Features that Can Help Driving in a Bad Weather
Modern cars are equipped with some important safety features which can help in reducing the probability of a dangerous road accident influenced by bad weather.
Anti-lock Brake System: Prevents the locking of wheels in wet conditions, stops the vehicle from skidding and gives the driver more control over the vehicle.
Traction Control: Prevents the cars from hydroplaning while driving in heavy rain by maintaining the same spin levels for all the wheels of a car.
Electronic Stability Control: Regulates the over or under steering of a vehicle in bad weather and applies brakes on the appropriate wheel automatically if it detects the vehicle sliding to a side.
Be Safe No Matter what the Weather is
Driving in any weather can become safe if proper precautionary measures are taken and safe driving habits are adopted. Learning to use the safety features present in your car is the most important thing to do as these safety features will asist you in driving safe. With that, drivers must keep themselves updated of the weather changes in the UAE and avoid driving in adverse weather conditions. Adopting safe practices while driving in bad weather can reduce the probability of a fatal road accident to a minimum and help in avoiding a potential loss of lives.
Planning to buy a new car with safety features to help you drive better in bad weather? Don’t forget that with us, you can sell your used car in 30 minutes while all the post-sale paperwork is handled by SellAnyCar.com’s team.