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Monday, August 15, 2005

Driving in Ireland

A very brief post today for visiting motorists and the hazards awaiting them

Ever thought why Ireland is so green? and not just on St.Patrick's Day .
Well,thanks to the Gulf Stream we are blessed with a very temperate climate which in lay terms means lots of rain! ( and I really do mean lots).

What does this mean to the Motorist and particularly the Novice Driver?

(1) Roads that are difficult to navigate in the dry, become very treacherous in the wet.

(2) Tyres that may not be in peak condition due to wear or incorrect inflation will give substantially less grip in the best of situations and will be lethal in the worst of situations.

(3) A much higher degree of both awareness and handling skills need to be demonstrated during bad weather.This is not something that a couple of Driving Lessons will instill and will only come with lots of practise and some heart-stopping moments!

(4) Ability to operate heater controls and juggle with their settings without taking your eyes off the road is another essential skill that will go along way to staying safe on the Road.For Drivers in hire cars that they are not totally familiar with, it is certainly worth spending some time getting to grips with the car manual,before driving out of the Airport.It may be a scorching hot day and bright sunshine one minute and be a heavy cloudburst the next.This is not the time to be wondering how your controls work.


(5) Since Ireland's total Driving Population is comprised of 20% Learner Drivers, most of whom have not taken Driving Lessons (no mandatory tuition at present!) then it's very likely that cars in front of you, cars behind you, and cars all around you,are piloted by Drivers who have not yet built up the skills to cope with adverse weather and road conditions.Since in -car skills are pretty scarce, don't expect outside-the-cockpit abilities to be any better.They are quite likely to be non existent!.Sorry to have to be so blunt .....but its a fact.

(6) Since January 2005 our speedlimits and distance signs are now in Kilometers,and yet, naturally most of the vehicles are still calibrated predominately in MPH.This will take quite a while for the general population to become acclimatized to so that wide variations in adherence to speed limits are commonplace. Speed cameras, which are just on the way, will sharpen up a lot of Motorists who are oblivious of the Law so ultimately it will be apparent that there is (hopefully ) a better compliance .
Thats it for today ....perhaps I will dredge the archives for some more positive trends soon ..but they are an endangered species!

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