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Wet Weather Driving

First and foremost: slow down! It takes longer to stop or adjust in wet weather. Stay toward the middle lanes – water tends to pool in the outside lanes. Maintain proper following distance (3 Second Rule). This needs to be increased in wet weather. Drive in the tracks of a car ahead of you.

Don’t follow large trucks or buses too closely. The spray created by their large tires reduces your vision. Take care when passing them as well; if you must pass, do so quickly and safely. Be more alert when driving in wet or slippery conditions. Watch out for brake lights in front of you. Avoid using your brakes; if possible, take your foot off the accelerator to slow down. Turn your headlights on even in a light rain, or in gloomy, foggy or overcast conditions. Not only do they help you see the road, but they’ll help other drivers see you. If your car has daytime running lights you still should put them on, so vehicles behind you can see you better. Before it starts to rain, replace old or brittle wipers.

Avoid off-road driving: it’s hard to judge the actual depth of puddles and you can easily become stuck, even in a 4WD. Never drive beyond the limits of visibility. At night rainy roads become especially treacherous. The glare of oncoming lights, amplified by the rain on your windscreen, can cause temporary loss of visibility while substantially increasing driver fatigue. In rainy conditions pedestrians, livestock, and wildlife are extremely hard to spot and even harder to avoid. Never drive through moving water if you can’t see the ground through it; your car could be swept off the road. When driving through a puddle of uncertain depth, go slow. If it’s deeper than the bottom of your doors, turn around and find another route. Deep water can cause serious damage to a modern car’s electrical system.

Avoid splashing pedestrians. If possible, stay off the road during heavy thunderstorms. Large flashes of lightning can temporarily blind and disorient drivers, and the accompanying high winds and heavy rain can create deadly driving conditions. Slow down! This should be obvious but it also very important. People are so used to driving certain speeds on certain roads that sometimes they forget the need to slow down when inclement weather presents itself.

man with a seat belt

Driving Safely for Life

Defensive driving is an art.  When you drive always think about what can go wrong? What cannot go wrong? What could reasonably happen?

Defensive driving is designed to heighten your awareness of everything happening around you while driving. It is important to develop these habits early and to realise that every time you get into a car there is risk involved.

To lessen your chances of being involved in a car accident,

  1. practice checking your mirrors constantly. Always be aware of what is on your right, your left, and behind you.

2. Check the road ahead. What is on the horizon, what is happening in front of the car ahead of you?

3. Learn to make eye to eye contact with drivers and pedestrians so that you know they see you.

4. Look at the front wheels of the cars parked on the side of the road. If you see a car with the wheels turned to the right, smoke from the exhaust, or the lights on, be aware that it might suddenly pull out.

5. Always remember, you may have the right away but the other driver could pull out in front of you.

It is better to arrive to arrive late than not arrive at all!! If you assess the situation constantly, you will be a safer driver for life.

tired man driving

Am I Safe to Drive?

I’M SAFE is an acronym that helps check if we are safe to drive.

If any of your answers are different to the answers below, you should not drive your car or any motorised vehicle. Remember the code I’M SAFE

I= Infection? No, M= Medication? No, S=Sleep? Yes, A=Alcohol? No, F= Food? Yes, E= Emotions? No

Drink Driving in Ireland

Official guidance from the Road Safety Authority and An Garda Síochána says that any amount of alcohol will impair your driving and increase the risk of a collision, making our roads less safe for all road users. The time of your last drink at night will affect when it is safe for you to drive the following day. This means that there could still be alcohol in your system the morning after drinking. In Ireland, almost half of all arrests for driving under the influence of an intoxicant (DUI) take place between midnight and 6am. 1 in 10 DUI arrests are made between 8am and 2pm, with a peak on Sundays.

Try out DrinkAware’s Drinks Calculator to see how many hours it could take for alcohol to leave your system (results show an estimate for education purposes only)

If you are tired or ill, you may not be fit to drive. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that up to 20% of all fatal crashes involve a sleep-deprived driver. Drivers with less than seven hours of sleep dramatically increase their chances of a collision. Sleeping for 5-6 hours doubles your likelihood of crashing compared to those who slept for seven hours or more.

Try to avoid driving when you are not feeling well, and plan long trips carefully to provide time for rest stops every couple of hours. If you begin to feel tired, open a window for fresh air and stop for a cup of coffee or tea. Don’t drive at all if you are very tired, or for at least 15 minutes after waking from sleep.

Remember also that medicines may affect your driving ability. Check with your doctor or pharmacist about any medication you are taking.


prepare to stop sign

How to Remember the Stopping and Breaking Distance of a Car

When learning to drive, one of the biggest things to remember is the stopping and the braking distances of the car you are driving.

To be behind the wheel without knowing or being able to remember the distances can be extremely dangerous, not just to yourself and your passengers, but to others on the road too.

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