Tips for driving on bad roads

Published on 10 January 2014

While Irish roads have improved significantly, some are still in need of improvement. Here are some tips for driving on bad roads.

While Irish roads have improved significantly during the Celtic Tiger era, some are still in need of improvement. The sub-zero temperatures, frost, snow and floods of the past two years have also affected the quality of many roads throughout the country. In some areas, drivers must traverse potholes, as well as unpaved and flooded roads to get to their destination.

Driving on unpaved roads can lead to cars losing traction and/or ultimately losing control. In addition, visibility can be reduced because of heavy dust; windshields can be damaged by flying stones; and damage can be done to the undercarriage of the car.

Reducing your speed will help you to avoid skidding and losing control. If your car starts to skid, brake gently and work your way down through the gears.

Stopping on unpaved roads can take longer. Leave extra distance between you and the car in front, because in nearly all rear ended collisions, the car from behind is at fault for not leaving enough braking space; these incidents can affect your next car insurance policy premium. This will also allow you to avoid flying rocks and dust.

The snowy conditions of 2010 saw a number of roads develop ruts, as the tar sank and cracked. Driving over such ruts can lead to your vehicle becoming stuck or damaged as the vehicle undercarriage could hit the road. Try to keep one or both of your wheels out of the potholes. If you do go into them, and the undercarriage of your car hits the road, stop and check to make sure you don’t have a leak.

Narrow and curved roads can also represent hazards for drivers. When approaching a blind curve on a narrow road, slow down and keep your car as close to the verge as you can. Approach carefully. If the road is too narrow for two vehicles to pass, try to pull in to a space and let the other car pass.