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Saturday, September 24, 2005

Driving in Gale or Storm Force conditions in Ireland.

Hurricane Rita is just reaching landfall as I write this post at 7.30 am. We have all been shocked by the devastation wreaked three weeks ago on New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina .This one, despite being a weaker storm could create more damage since it appears to be much wider and already in the last hour or so the patched up levees in New Orleans have been breached.
Thankfully the residents seem to have responded well and in good time to the Federal warnings and most have long since departed.
In this part of Europe we are very fortunate to be pretty much immune from Hurricanes, Cyclones and the like but on occasion we do experience severe storms which make driving particularly hazardous. When the media News Broadcasts highlight the pending bad weather every Driver should take note. You might only experience two or three Storms in a life time but if you fail to heed the warnings then your first storm may be your last!

I nearly proved the above point to my self thirty years ago when attempting to drive a small commercial vehicle through a ferocious storm in the south east. One gust took me right across the road and it was all I could do to keep the van out of the ditch. It had been a struggle to maintain any kind of normal position on the road for an hour or two but this was the wake up call for me. In another Storm a few years later the road to Galway about 40 miles from Dublin was completely blocked for several hours by a fallen Tree which probably measured six feet in diameter. Luckily it had fallen outside a large Farm and a team of chain saws tackled the problem. Traffic was backed up for half a mile and this was 7.00am in the morning or earlier, so you can imagine what the chaos would be like today with a zillion more vehicles on the road at all hours of the day or night.

At night and in driving rain you don’t stand a chance if a tree comes down on your vehicle and you won’t see it happen or have time to avoid it. It is not a pleasant sight to see a car flattened by a tree and if you ever do you will never drive in a storm again, believe me. So when the warning comes out over the airwaves ”Don’t drive unless you absolutely have to” take heed and hang up your keys and sit it out. The misery of a crash or serious injury is just not worth it .If you are under company pressure for deliveries, meetings, deadlines or whatever …Forget them ..It will be you who have to pick up the pieces not the Company .Don’t believe me? I worked for a large Company for fifteen years and drove every day in the course of my duties….when I left to pursue my new business I received not so much as a “wish you well and good luck” note.

So be warned all you drivers of company vehicles or company cars YOU are the Driver, it is your life at stake and YOU make the decisions. If the company vehicle is not in a safe and legal state for whatever reason, you should not be driving it; you will be responsible and pay the ultimate price not the Company.

Astral Driving School Limerick.

Astral Driving School Blog …. “Arrive Alive”…

Astral Wordpress Blog……… ”Motorvating”


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