Safe driving in stormy weather

07 Feb 2020

Recent bad weather in the United Arab Emirates has proved problematic for drivers who are not used to being on the road in such conditions.

However, there are a number of tips that can help motorists to stay safe while driving in heavy rain, according to GM firm ACDelco.

The most important precaution that drivers can take is to make sure that their car is in good condition so that it will be able to deal with stormy conditions.

The rear and front lights and the wiper blades are the vehicle components that are most in need of a comprehensive check before setting out on any potentially hazardous journey.

A huge difference can be made to safety while driving in stormy weather just by checking that these components are still in good working order.

It is also a good idea to check on anticipated weather conditions in the UAE by using the weather app on your mobile device before setting off.

News channels and weather apps provide regular updates on weather and road conditions.

Many motorists drive in rainy and foggy conditions with their hazard lights on, but this practice has now been banned in the UAE because other drivers cannot tell if the lights are in use as hazard lights or to indicate a lane change.

This can be confusing and can increase the likelihood of an accident, because the lights are only intended to be used during emergencies.

Many drivers also believe that when visibility is poor, it is better to use high beams.

However, this is actually not the case because light is reflected by small droplets of water and can distort visibility for the driver and other road users.

It is actually better to make use of dip lights to help with visibility in poor conditions.

Another good tip is that drivers should stay in their lane as trying to change lanes in bad weather is very risky because of poor conditions and low visibility.

In the event that changing lanes is an absolute necessity, motorists should ensure that they give other drivers plenty of warning as to their intentions by making use of indicator lights and checking for other vehicles in nearby lanes.

Drivers should also ensure that vehicles are kept a safe distance from the one in front and maintain awareness of their surroundings and the proximity of other vehicles, including those behind them.

When stormy weather in the UAE impacts on visibility, drivers should use their hearing to try to compensate for that issue by rolling down their windows in order to listen for emergency sirens and other vehicles.

One of the most important pieces of advice for drivers to follow is to slow down, as wet roads make it very dangerous to drive too fast.

Drivers should stay at the same speed as the vehicles in front to make sure that they do not have to brake sharply.

Anyone driving a vehicle in the UAE is legally obligated to have a basic form of third-party car insurance.