If you are in Far North Queensland right now you are damp. You are moist. You are positively sopping. Cyclone Imogen has inundated the region with torrential downpours of the wet stuff and with the increase of rain there appears to be a decrease in driver ability.
Today I made the 100 km trek to the city and it took me nearly 3 hours. With the Audi wipers belting away at full tilt my visibility was still so limited that it was unsafe for me to travel at more than 80kms per hour with most of my journey at 60kms an hour or less. Each time a car went past the wake from their wheels would drown the windscreen making it impossible to see at all, forcing me to brake. If you can’t see, SLOW DOWN. If you don’t feel safe, slow down. When you slow down move to the edge of the road. If you are going very, very, slowly, pull over and wait out the storm somewhere safe with your hazard lights on. Now might be the perfect opportunity to find a warm dry café or shop for groceries.
Like many on the roads today I saw some extreme examples of reckless driving and astonishingly many of the vehicles in play sported a P plate. And so many vehicles without headlights on. My number one tip for driving in bad weather… and I cannot stress this enough... TURN ON YOUR BLOODY HEADLIGHTS. Headlights aren’t just to help you see, they are also to help us see you. In the rain we can see you coming so we don’t pull out to overtake and hit you head on. Turning on your headlights turns on your taillights and then the car behind you can see you and not run up your bum.
As I poked along the highway the water ran over the road and created wide sheets of danger. The tyres gripped and then gave way, the Audi threatened to aquaplane and then she faithfully found solid ground and carried me safely away. If you have not experienced the joy of wet roads this can be a little bit hairy as experiences go. So here is my tip to avoid spearing off into a table drain… DO NOT USE CRUISE CONTROL. Cruise control is a delightful feature on modern rides but it can be deadly in the wet stuff. When the vehicle hits a wet patch the wheels continue to turn at the same speed as when they had traction so when they reconnect with hard road they will be spinning faster and launch you. When the weather is bad you must stay in full control of the vehicle.
Folks when the weather is moister than an oyster leave your ego at home and take all the time you need to get there safely. Turn your lights on, turn the radio down, lock the distracting kids and pets down tight in the back, put the burger away, lock your phone in the boot, drive in the left most lane as slow as you need to and don’t make any moves that you can’t see with 100% visibility. If you still don’t feel safe, stay home. Call an Uber, ask a mate for a lift, question if you really need to go.