Driving To The Conditions
After seeing some new statistics on road safety recently, it reminded me of Mark Walsh’s feature from 2015 (Driving Into Darkness, Pro Mobile Issue 72). In it he gave some really good advice about the dangers of driving tired. As mobile DJs, by the very nature of our job title, we often travel a lot. Even my own residency requires around a 15-mile drive through the Kent countryside.
A new road safety campaign was launched in November 2016 to highlight the dangers of driving in bad weather. On the face of it, this seems fairly obvious common sense. If it's snowing, we all know it will likely be slippy and we need to take care. However, what the Highways England campaign reveals is that it's actually rain that causes more deaths on our roads. In fact, each year nearly 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured when driving in rain compared to just over 150 when driving in fog and under 100 when driving in snow.
Snow generally excites the media and there's no escaping it's arrival. Particularly when it snows in London, when all the national media suddenly become fixated. We all know that snow makes driving more dangerous and that precautions are required. Likewise, the danger with fog is easy to spot as the visibility drops (of course that doesn't stop people from driving too fast or without their lights on!). However, rain is a regular occurrence and one we tend to ignore as a risk because we are so used to it.
It's easy to say “don't travel and stay at home”. But when you've been booked for a wedding, or any other gig for that matter, it's unlikely the event will be postponed unless there is a serious whiteout. Certainly, a little rain is not going to put a bride and groom off! So, staying at home isn't a real option.
It sounds too obvious, but the best advice in wet weather is that you should:
• Slow down if the rain and spray from vehicles is making it difficult to see and be seen.
•Keep well back from the vehicle in front as this will increase your ability to see and plan ahead.
• Ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually if the steering becomes Unresponsive, as it probably means that water is preventing the tyres from gripping the road properly.
Although I say it’s obvious advice, clearly it isn’t if nearly 3,000 people can be killed or seriously injured each year. So, the next time it’s raining when you’re on the way to a gig, be sure to slow down and take extra care. Better to arrive a little later, than not at all...
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The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 82, Page 54.